Guide Tokyo Megacity

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This week, the Guardian reported on how the Olympics projects have sucked up construction labour and driven up the price of raw materials, hugely slowing the reconstruction of the lands that were destroyed by the tsunami. This was a particularly striking example of the regions being sacrificed for the benefit of the metropolis. But the availability of relatively affordable housing in the centre of the city does mean that there is less concern with a huge issue transforming other developed-world capitals, such as London and New York: gentrification.

Because Japanese real estate values land over property, it is often the case that the smallest houses are in fact the most valuable.

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Nevertheless, there has been gentrification in the sense that young families have been pushed out from the core by lack of services. Tom Gill notes that a short walk from Shibuya or Shinjuku, you will see little parks with no children playing on the swings and slides.

The suburbs have taken on a lot of the social problems the city centre no longer has to deal with. Is that what happens in a peak city? Commuting full distances on bikes, however, is not encouraged in Tokyo; the network of blue arrows painted on the streets for bike routes ahead of the Olympics is frequently interrupted by delivery vehicles, and seems basically token in nature. Bicycles could be better integrated into the city, argues Astrid Klein of Klein Dytham.

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In Japan there is no on-road parking, which keeps the roads free of ugly cars and allows pavements to be free. In many social indicators, too, Tokyo seems to have reached a kind of stability. Unemployment is just 4.

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The murder rate, meanwhile, is an absurdly low 0. Despite the wonders of the transit system, Tokyo also remains a massive city with difficult commutes, and a demanding work culture.

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Working from home? These practices have been around for half a century, but very few major Japanese employers make use of them. So the misery of the daily commute continues. Details Related. Observing the Earth.

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Japan Tokyo. City Radar Images Satellite image. Earth observation image of the week. The right turned Linda Taylor into a bogeyman.

But her real life was much more complicated. A sizzling symbol of Americana eaten at stadiums and barbecues, the humble hot dog originated in a very unlikely place: the beach.

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All you need is your buddy Ben Franklin and a toothpick. When cities fail to provide basic amenities like seats at bus stops, community organizations step in with creative DIY fixes. The Ivy Rec could document your hiking adventures.

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I hope that it's not something that just ends as a political spectacle.