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The City as SubjectSeki Hajime and the Reinvention of Modern Osaka$
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Jeffrey Hanes

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520228498

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520228498.001.0001

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The Livable City

The Livable City

Chapter:
(p.210) 6 The Livable City
Source:
The City as Subject
Author(s):

John Mason Hart

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520228498.003.0007

Seki Hajime sketched the parameters of urban planning in the mid-1900s to bring sweeping social reform to Osaka. He spoke to a group of economists in Kobe, and noted that Osaka had been fortunate to be the beneficiary of a “grand urban plan” in the seventh century, although Tokugawa leadership had affected a dramatic spatial overhaul of Osaka. While Seki was concerned specifically with the Japanese version of a modern urban dilemma, he understood it as a variation on urban problems that affected all modern nations. He surveyed problems concerning urban planning that had manifested themselves in Europe and United States, and concluded that modern European cities were subject to pressures similar to those which hamstrung Japanese cities. By the early 1920s, Seki had created a sweeping policy proposal that addressed the modern social dilemma of urban sprawl, and urged the central government to empower the municipal authorities of Japan' largest cities to employ urban planning.

Keywords:   urban planning, grand urban plan, Osaka, modern nations, Seki Hajime, Japanese cities

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