Struggling Cities: from Japanese Urban Projects in the 1960s

The rapid urbanisation of the late 20th Century meant that solutions had to be found for dense, growing urban environments. Having taken 5,000 years for the urban population to reach 25%, in the following 50 years the percentage of city dwellers doubled. This rapid urbanisation of course forced cities to go through some drastic changes to adapt to the new conditions. The biggest challenge was designing something in balance with the existing organic framework and also adapting to modernisation and new technologies.

The worlds ‘Megacities’ were, and still are, at the epicenter of this challenge. By the 1960s Tokyo was such a place going through rapid urbanisation. Innovation and bold ideas were needed to renovate the city, and so a wave of proposals from many architects were put forward and demonstrate their ideas on how this could work.

The following proposals are taken from the struggling Cities Exhibit of Japanese Urban Projects in the 1960s which has been hosted in a number of locations globally. The architectural style is distinctly of that era and the ideas are brave visions of meeting the needs of speedy development.

City in the Air – Arata Isozake

Tower Shape Community – Kiyonori Kikutake

Ocean City Kikutake Kiyonori


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