Tokaido Megalopolis

Developmental State Urbanism from Growth to Shrinkage

Conference organized by the Fondation France-Japon de l'EHESS.

This paper examines the challenges posed by megaregions from the perspective of an analysis of the Tokaido Megalopolis, the first case of this urban scale in Asia. Debates about large-scale urbanization have seen a recent resurgence, with divergent interpretations of their significance and implications. This paper contributes to these debates from the perspective of the case of Japan, which is surprisingly absent from recent discussions which have focused primarily on the U.S., Europe, and China. When first identified as a ‘megalopolis’ in the 1960s the Japanese Tokaido region from Tokyo to Osaka was already larger and denser in population than the north-east seabord of the US, and was growing much faster. The Japanese case is particularly valuable for current debates as Tokaido’s peak growth was half a century ago during a very different period, and is a region that has already finished its urbanization phase and is now shrinking in population so the compete process of megalopolitan growth can be studied.

Speaker: André Sorensen (Univesity of Toronto)

Discussant: Beatriz Fernandez (UPM, EHESS)

Chair: Sébastien Lechevalier (EHESS)

André Sorensen is Full Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto. His monograph The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the 21st Century (Routledge 2002) won the book prize of the International Planning History Society in 2004. He has published over 60 journal papers, chapters, and books. His current research examines urban institutions, and temporal processes in urbanization and urban governance from a comparative historical institutional perspective, with a focus on urban land and property development, infrastructure management, and the creation of increasingly differentiated property rights in urban settings.

Beatriz Fernandez (UPM, EHESS) is an Adjunct Professor of urban studies at the Technical University of Madrid and will join EHESS as an Associate Professor from 2018-2019. Her work focuses on the territorial transformations of contemporary cities in a comparative and diachronic approach. She is particularly interested in the socio-spatial impacts of urban growth and shrinkage processes, as well as the urban and urban planning policies that guide them. She has been a member of the Shrinking Cities International Research Network (SCiRN) since 2009.

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  • Thursday 24 May 2018 - 17:00 to 19:00
  • EHESS (Room A7_37) - 54 boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris
Beatriz Fernández