31 Jan 2011

a road development

A park, a wall and plastic covered ground to stop vegetation from growing. The Tamagawa Josui (more about it here and here) is a 43 km waterway built to supply Edo (now Tokyo) with water, work started in 1653. Along a section of the Tamagawa Josui in Suginami-ku a road is being built, as all road developments in urban areas, things are in the way of the planned road. A comment in Japanese about the development here and a blog about here.
The situation regarding the execution of theese planned road that often stretch far back in history is more complicated than I've previously realised.  

Plans for new roads infrastructure approved in the 1960s have proven virtually impossible to revise, ...
There are literally thousands of such plan, particularly for City Planning Roads (Toshi keikau doro) projects for multilane arterial roads through existing urban areas. ... Although it might seem a simple matter for the central government to cancel a plan that is no longer needed or wanted (...) in fact it is not so easy to cancel such plans. ... - [As the plan] put some legal restrictions on allowable building activity, the government is concerned that cancellations of plans that were approved in the 1960s and 1970s might prompt massive compensation claims from affected landowners. No city planning roads have yet been cancelled.    
André Sorensen and Carolin Funck in Living Cities in Japan, Conclusions: a diversity of machizukuri processes and outcomes. 
The road project I've previously written about change a bit in the light of the above quote. The fantastic pocket of time here in special, but also here and here.
The projected road development along the Tamagawa Josui is well underway but the physical reality during the years long implementation of the plan is just strange and sad.
A section of the plan.

The covered ground, fenced in. Plot now owned by the city being left worse than unused, they are actively being hindered from contributing anything to the landscape of the city.
@ArchitourTokyo by that you reduce maintenance costs as you don't have to remove plants in a couple of years as you launch construction.sad!
 @ enjoy it anyway. i really love the . you can follow it all the way out beyond tachikawa where it becomes really wild.
@ i love  but it's partly endangered by an outdated (1942-)   project:   
Christian Dimmer, @remmid on Twitter, in a conversation with me and Joan L Bailey, who invited me along for the walk. (I run here but don't take my camera with me while running.)
The park is also in the way of the planned road.
On the other side of the park there is also a covered fenced in plot.
A stretch that at least is covered with grass.
A developed stretch and a few tree in the way.
The last house of a shoutengai standing in the way of development.
A series of plots and in the end the block houses.
And in front of a house with a lush garden the covered ground.
Signs showing the different sections of the plan shown above.
A 7.5 m wide road wide enough for 2 cars lined with trees and a walking path. Not a bad situation but that is planned in the end. But is the road necessary? Even if it is shouldn't something more happen here while the roads slowly starts to happen? Gardens, grass?

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