30 Oct 2010

twelve zones, the city defined - a week of infrastructure

Zoning map above shows the Setagaya-ku which mainly is filled with dense and low buildings (coloured blue). The red/pink shows commercial developments, around railway stations or along roads. Just to be clear, the green areas doesn't imply a park or vegetation. Even if parks can be green in the map.
The Japanese zoning system contains rules about use, floor area ratio, building height, building coverage area and other things. There are 12 zones in total. The maps show the pattern of development of the urban fabric.

1 Category 1 Exclusively Low-rise Residential Zone
This zone is designated for low-rise residential buildings. The permitted buildings include residential buildings which are also used as small shops or offices and elementary/junior high school buildings.
2 Category 2 Exclusively Low-rise Residential Zone
This zone is mainly designated for low rise residential buildings. In addition to elementary/junior high school buildings, certain types of shop buildings with a floor area of up to 150m2 are permitted.
3 Category 1 Mid/high-rise Oriented Residential Zone
This zone is designated for medium to high residential buildings. In addition to hospital and university buildings, certain types of shops buildings with a floor area of up to 500m2 are permitted.
4 Category 2 Mid/high-rise Oriented Residential Zone
This zone is mainly designated for medium to high-rise residential buildings. In addition to hospital and university buildings, the permitted buildings include certain shops and office buildings with a floor area of up to 1,500m2 to provide conveniences for the local community.
5 Category 1 Residential Zone
This zone is designated to protect the residential environment. The permitted buildings include shops, offices and hotel buildings with floor area of up to 3,000m2.
6 Category 2 Residential Zone
This zone is designated to protect the residential environment. The permitted buildings include shops, offices and hotel buildings as well as buildings with karaoke booths.
7 Quasi-residential Zone
This zone is designated to allow the introduction of vehicle related facilities along roads while protecting the residential environment in harmony with such facilities.
8 Neighborhood Commerical Zone
This zone is designated to provide daily shopping facilities for the neighbourhood residents. In addition to residential and shop buildings, small factory buildings are allowed.
9 Commerical Zone
Banks, cinemas, restaurants and department stores are constructed in this zone. Residential buildings and small factory buildings are also permitted.
10 Quasi-industrial zone
This is mainly occupied by light industrial and service facilities. Almost all kinds of factories are permitted excepting those that which are considered to considerably worsen the environment.
11 Industrial zone
Any type of factory can be built in this zone. While residential and shop buildings can be constructed, school, hospital and hotel buildings are not permitted.
12 Exclusively Industrial zone
This zone is designated for factories. While all types of factory buildings are permitted, residential, shop, school, hospital and hotel buildings cannot be constructed.
From Japanese by Professor Nakai, Tokyo Institute of Technology. Numbers by me. The numbers are only counters.

Section of Setagaya-ku.
In this scale a certain level of understanding is possible, the pattern of the city is clear. But what is not clear is how this has happened. The plan corresponds to the reality as it has happened simultaneously forming and protecting the existing morphology.
The zones are common for all cities in Japan but are set and defined in the needs of Tokyo. When the number of zones wasn't enough they were subdivided and refined; to provide a closer approximation of the existing conditions. What is interesting to note is how inclusive the zones are, for example residential buildings are allowed in 11 of the 12 zones.

Shimokitazawa with planned roads, a cause of controversy. Look here
In the 1950s the city was growing with over 1 million inhabitants per year. The above area was totally urbanised at this time. Urbanization on this scale in has happened at other times and places with varying results. Worth noting is that the railway connections serving this area already existed before the explosive growth. The city here mainly consists of small buildings and houses. Densely packed forming the typical suburban fabric of Setagaya-ku.

Sometimes while looking at these maps I wonder how this actually happened. I see patterns, how the old waterways shaped the city, how the topography shapes the city with small means. I see stories and sequences in the evolution of the city. A university campus, a danchi belt, small shotengais. But seeing the map is not enough to provide me with this knowledge, it only makes sense considering the specifics of the situation. Additional knowledge is needed.

So instead I watch the perfect geometry of the planed motorways.
Or reflect upon the commercial districts, above Shibuya, big red blob to the left, and Ebisu, the outgrowth to the right, in Shibuya-ku. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi, may I ask where did you get all these amazing map from?

    I am an architecture student from the University of Edinburgh, and I have to do a project analyzing Tokyo building use and zoning.

    If you can provide the direction of where the maps are from it will be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance

    Sav

    ReplyDelete