2016 Urban Planning and Development in Japan

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Academic unit or major
Social Engineering
Nakai Norihiro 
Course component(s)
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Undecided ()  
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Academic year
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Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course covers urban and planning history of Japan, the Japanese urban planning and development system and the urban design in Japan.
The purpose of the course is to allow international students who are not familiar with the Japanese urban development context to understand the Japanese planning system in general.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students are expected to have the following:
1) General knowledge of Japanese cities and the Japanese planning system
2) General knowledge as to how metropolitan Japan has grown in the modern period
3) Skills to compare planning systems between different countries


Urban Planning, Urban Development, History of the City, Urban Design

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
- - - -

Class flow

This course is offered in English in an intensive format, usually on Saturdays in January.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Brief history of Japanese cities 1: Pre-modern age Understanding of the origins of Japanese cities
Class 2 Brief history of Japanese cities 2: After modernazation Understanding of modernization of Japanese cities
Class 3 Brief history of Japanese cities 3: Post-war growth Understanding of post war urban growth in Japan
Class 4 Current Urban Planning System of Japan 1: System Structure and Masterplan Understanding of overall picture of the Japanese planning system; Understanding masterplan as the goal of planning
Class 5 Current Urban Planning System of Japan 2: Land Use Control Understanding of zoning and development control system
Class 6 Current Urban Planning System of Japan 3: Infrastructure Planning Understanding of infrastructure planning, including transportation
Class 7 Current Urban Planning System of Japan 4: Urban Development System Understanding os Japanese urban development system, including land readjustment
Class 8 Current Urban Planning System of Japan 5: Planning Decision Making Understanding of planning decision-making process
Class 9 Mid-term Discussion Brief presentation of general information of the cities in the students' home countries
Class 10 Issues of Japanese City 1: Population Decline and Compact City Understanding of demographic trends of Japan and compact city as a planning goal
Class 11 Issues of Japanese City 2: Urban Planning and Disaster Prevention Understanding of natural disaster risk in Japan and planning responses
Class 12 Issues of Japanese City 3: Urban Design and Design Control Understanding discussion of design and aesthetic contro over buildings
Class 13 Issues of Japanese City 4: Urban Planning and Environment Understanding of the necessity of low carbon city
Class 14 Issues of Japanese City 5: Urban Renewal and Urban Renaussance Understanding of revival of the city
Class 15 End of Term Discussion Brief presentation of the planning system of students' home contries


Materials to be given

Reference books, course materials, etc.

SOLENSEN, Andre 'The Making of Urban Japan' Routledge, 2004

Assessment criteria and methods

Evaluated by the level of discussion during the lecture (20%) and the final report (80%)

Related courses

  • CVE.D211 : Introduction to National Land Use and City Planning
  • ARC.P305 : National and City Planning
  • UDE.D408 : History of Cities and Urban Planning

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


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