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Interviews Excerpt From “Towards the Era of Management – TODM in Europe, USA, and Asia”

As cities around the world have started responding to traffic and urban living, TODM (Transit-Oriented Development and Management) has become more prevalent. Urban planners Takayuki Kishii, Takashi Yajima, and Tsuneaki Nakano, our guest editors for the July 2019 issue of a+u, Transit-Oriented “Development and Management” – Sustainable Urbanisation Projects from 35 Cities, talk here about the phenomenon.

The following conversation can be read in its entirety in the July issue of a+u.

TOD and Management

Takayuki Kishii: Major cities around the world are working to move away from urbanism structured around cars and towards increased use of rail, light rail transit (LRT), buses, and other modes of public transport. As a result, rail stations and the areas around them are being redeveloped.

But mass motorization occurred 50 years later in Japan than in the United States, and 10 years later than in Europe. This meant that cities grew up along rail lines, producing Japan’s distinctive landscape of shopping streets leading to stations and large mixed-use station buildings. This method – the coordinated development of the station and its environs – is now entering a new phase with the addition of the element of management.

Takashi Yajima: Integrated development of the station and its community is often called transit-oriented development (TOD). This term was first proposed by the architect and urban planner Peter Calthorpe (b. 1949) in his 1993 book The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream (Princeton Architectural Press). According to Calthorpe, TOD is a development method in which the principal infrastructure is a railway line or other express public transit system, and the area is zoned for densities that decrease with distance from the station, from high in the area around the station (core commercial and transit stop), to medium (public uses and open space), to low (residential areas).

One figure in [The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream] shows a development area with a diameter of 600 m, within walking distance from the station. The book was originally published to present guidelines for improving American cities, which at the time were overly dependent on cars. But cities all over the world were facing similar problems, and the term TOD came to be recognized internationally.

In Japan, in the decade leading up to 1920, Ichizo Kobayashi (1873–1957) established what is now the Hankyu railway network and Eiichi Shibusawa (1840–1931) established the Garden City Company (now Tokyu Corporation) to develop the areas along railway lines. Today, 90 years later, these achievements are regarded as examples of TOD. But TOD is not limited to a clearly defined concept. In contemporary usage, it often refers to the whole range of developments centered around a transit station. Different countries, cities, and stations have different social backgrounds, and the concept is constantly changing.

Tsuneaki Nakano: The ancestor of the railroad is the steam locomotive, which was invented in the early 1800s, only 200 years ago, in England. At that time, railroads were built as long-distance terrestrial freight networks. Connections to maritime shipping were important, so stations were built in seaports and along rivers. Later, railroads began to carry people, and commercial developments sprung up around stations. Since stations and railways could not be built in the middle of existing cities and towns, they were located on the periphery.

This relationship between towns and stations was repeated all over the world. Despite the shift from carrying freight to carrying people and the development of areas around stations, most overseas cities remained centered around their historical cores, both in major metropolitan regions and in the provinces. But railways did contribute to the expansion of cities, as new towns were planned around suburban railway stations. In one sense, the railway was one of the greatest inventions of the Industrial Revolution. It exerted an immense influence on the emergence of modern cities…

Takayuki Kishii (center) was born in Kobe in 1953. He studied urban planning at the Department of Urban Engineering, University of Tokyo. Upon graduating with a Master’s of Engineering, Kishii entered the Ministry of Construction (now the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism). After working at the ministry, he received a Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Tokyo. Kishii was president of the City Planning Institute of Japan from 2010 to 2012. Currently, he serves as an associate professor at Nihon University, is president of the Institute of Behavioral Sciences, president of the Otemachi / Marunouchi / Yurakucho (OMY) Area Management Association, and is an active coordinator of many urban regeneration projects in Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and other districts in Tokyo.

Takashi Yajima (right) was born in Tokyo in 1945. He graduated from the Department of Urban Engineering, University of Tokyo, and received a Master’s of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1971). After, he worked for 30 years in the City Bureau of the Ministry of Construction, where he handled technical oversight and grants from the national treasury for numerous urban development and transportation projects. During this time, he worked as an urban development specialist at the Asian Development Bank (now located in Manila), where he was responsible for providing technical support for urban development in Southeast Asia as well as reviewing of applications for low-interest loans. In 1988, he received a Doctorate of Engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and since then has served as an associate professor at Nihon University. Since 2003, Yajima has been the director at the Institute of Behavioral Sciences and has lead research into urban development and urban transit. Additionally, he has been the president of the Land Readjustment Center since 2013 and has served as the director of the Tokyo Rapid Transit Authority (now Tokyo Metro) since 1977.

Tsuneaki Nakano (left) was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1951, graduated in 1974 from the Department of Urban Engineering, University of Tokyo, worked at Maki and Associates, and in 1984 founded APL Associates. He served as a professor at the Shibaura Institute of Technology from 2005 to 2017, teaching a wide range of subjects, including urban design, urban planning, architectural design, and landscape design. Today he is Professor Emeritus of Shibaura Institute of Technology, CEO of APL Associates Inc., P.E. Jp (construction division, city and town planning), and a first-class architect.