VOL: 8  NO: 1  143-154   2011-1


A historical and comparative analysis of the basic character of the Japanese planning system: Toward a drastic reform for decentralization and participation



Shun- ichi J. WATANABE

Tokyo University of Science, JAPAN

Received: July 2010            Final Acceptance: April 2011



One of the issues that are often discussed in Japan now is the reform of the current city planning system, which was originated 120 years ago. The general direction of the reform seems to head for 'decentralization' and 'participation' and many concrete proposals have been publicized till now. And yet there are a few comprehensive analyses of what are really the problems of the city planning system as a whole. This paper tries to clarify the total structure of these problems by discussing the basic character of the Japanese planning system through the following 6 concepts or keywords that are abstracted out of its history. The detailed discussions of each concepts will lead us to the reform direction which will be opposite direction of them, namely:

    (1) Centralized Style' against 'Decentralized Style;

    (2) Bureaucrat Initiative' against 'Citizen Initiative;

    (3) Expanding-City Image' against 'Shrinking-City Image;

    (4) Construction Orientation' against 'Management Orientation;

    (5) One-Tier System' against 'Two-Tier System; and

    (6) Non-Professionalism' against 'Professionalism



Keywords:  Planning system, decentralization, participation, Japan


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