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The politics of urban development in a global city: Tokyo and Waterfront Sub-Centre Project

Saito, Asato (2003) The politics of urban development in a global city: Tokyo and Waterfront Sub-Centre Project. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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It is widely believed that globalisation of economic production and emergence of an integrated world order is the main rational behind many urban development projects in the world cities. The other major phenomenon concerning urban development in the advanced industrial countries is wide spread use of public private partnership in the project as a result of state-market realignment since the end of the 1970s. These two discourses were combined together and have created a particular image of the city in the global economy. That is cities are competing each other to attract mobile trans-national capital by, for instance, the urban infrastructure project carried out by public private partnership in entrepreneurial manner. The author believes that the argument is leaned toward economic determinism without giving proper attention to the role of national and local government, and argues that this image is by no means universal. The thesis explores how public bodies and the business community in Tokyo saw the opportunity and potential danger of the globalisation of Tokyo and devised strategic development policy. The case study of Tokyo Waterfront Sub-centre, one of the flagship project for globalisation of Tokyo, illustrate unique relationship between national government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the business community behind the project. The author analyses power relations between them in the framework of Urban Regime Theory with additional parameters which are the position of Tokyo in global economy, and its integrated inter-governmental system. The author concludes that contrary to the popular argument of globalisation and urban development which emphasises the power of global economic forces to determine the fate of the city, Japanese government set the framework of the strategic action, and Tokyo Metropolitan Government was a main agent to carry out the project. The author also attributed the relative strength of state policy to historically constructed relations between public and private sectors in Japan known as Capitalist Developmental State.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban and Regional Planning
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Geography and Environment

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