26 November 2020

 co+labo radović  aSAUD 2O2O two special lectures by Heide Imai, from Senshu University

As aSAUD 2O2O moves towards the themes of cultural sustainability,
Dr Heide Imai of Senshu University, T
okyo has, in two consecutive lectures, presented two of here recent and current research preoccupations. The lecture entitled Gentrification, Revitalization or what: Changing Scapes, Spaces and Places in Japan" moved "beyond the general concept of gentrification, and ask how the ambiguity of urban change can be understood. Being rich in data coming from different urban spheres in Japan, which experienced decline, failure but also rebirth and revival, the case studies presented will allow the reader to develop a deeper understanding for the ongoing restructuring processes which happen around us, yet cannot be fully understand until we know how they affect the everyday life of the ordinary residents, users and visitors (often in contrasting ways). Some of the results are presented in the just published book “Creativity in Tokyo - Revitalizing a Mature City" (2020, Palgrave, left up) which offers a glimpse into the complex structure of necessary elements that provide physical and particularly socio-cultural support to the whole chain of creative actors in Tokyo. The book presumes that city creativity is equally influenced by financial support, accessible infrastructure (in terms of spaces, transport, digital technology), as well as sets of informal networks, services and tacit, locally embedded knowledge that provide basic layers of stimuli that are needed for creativity to fully develop. The future development of creativity and general development of a city depends not only on planning strategies of formal authorities but equally important appropriate inclusion of heterogeneity elements that are provided i.e. embedded within the local, informal, hidden context of micro city spaces." That lecture was followed by brief aSAUD discussion, and lead to the second talk (below) and results of Heide's long-standing interest in continuity and resilience of some traditional urban typologies in the metropolis, and in particular on roji. The material presented included references to her earlier book "Tokyo Roji "(2017, Routledge; left), and help open the final round of discussion.

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