Micro/Macro Q & A Sessions

I attended two of three Q & A sessions at the Micro/Macro seminar. Here are my notes for the first one, with Dr Keimi Harada, mayor of Minato City, Fumikazu Masuda, professor at Tokyo Zokey University, and Mats Pemer, director of Urban Planning in Stockholm:1

Moderator: Stockholm … most planned city, Tokyo most unplanned [It seems as if] the most unplanned [results in] most mix [crappy notes, she said it better] – Mr Harada: Tokyo, destroyed entirely during WWII. Nothing left, barracks. – The Tokyo Olympic – turning point – Mr Pemer: “good possibilities” (opportunities) “to plan” [as] city owned land, [building] companies … – everyone thought that planning was good, not just leftists – There are some things you can’t plan, how people want to live, etc. – Planning not in detail but to promote and enable good development. – Mr Masuda: diversity, flexibility, choose where to live, the city is not a building, it’s a chance, is a place to [what? I didn’t finish this sentence]

[Harada, responding next question, which I didn’t write down but which was a fuzzy question about the difference in values between Stockholmers and the people of Tokyo, given the difference between the cities.] 14 million new inhabitants in Tokyo (size of Switzerland [actually two Switzerlands]) – values: want to own land (farmers moving in) – land is everything, they wanted to own their own land. After war: land owner can do everything with his land [as opposed to Stockholm, where the city owns most of the land, but which hasn’t been subjected to large-scale destruction either]. – Mr Pemer: Sweden a rural [country] until a few decades ago.

Roppongi Hills. [A question by Lars Marcus regarding redevelopments, etc. I didn’t hear all of it.] Mr Masuda [first following-up on Harada’s mentioning of people wanting to own land] – thinks the desire to own land is diminishing with new generations – [now answering Mr Marcus’s question] was born close to [Roppongi Hills] – the redevelopment changed things quite dramatically – it will be the last big change – we have to find other ways – life scale

End of notes.

Here are the notes from the second Q & A, with Lars Marcus, architect and researcher, Elisabeth Lilja, urban sociologist, and Francesca Ferguson, founder of Urban Drift and commissioner of the German pavillion at the Architecture Biannual in Venice:2

Urban Drift [are located in a] 400 sq. m. [space] at [some very central location] – 2 years [lease], [terminable at] 2 weeks notice. Inconceivable in another city [because of the price of real estate]. Temporary.

Event culture. Spaces that can be adapted. [Atelier] Bow Wow [a talk later in the day that I couldn’t attend]

[Mr Marcus answering a question about space syntax, about it being optimistic, or something, and its applicability to shrinking cities.] develop knowledge, not a school – for architects and planners – space: social space, not geometrical. designing space – as an architect – you need to know about space (if you’re designing a table, you need to know wood, metal, ...)

1 For my notes from Dr Harada’s talk, see “Evolution of [Minato City] from 1960’s to the Present Day.” I haven’t posted my notes from Mr Masuda’s talk yet. For my notes from Mr Pemer’s talk, see “Evolution of [Stockholm] Over the Last 100 Years.”

2 For my notes from Mr Marcus’s talk, see “The Structure of Public Space and Everyday Life.” I didn’t take much notes from Ms Lilja’s lecture, as I found it difficult to follow. I will the notes from post Ms Ferguson’s lecture soon; it was essentially about shrinking cities very interesting.

The above was posted to my personal weblog on August 5, 2004. My name is Peter Lindberg and I am a thirtysomething software developer and dad living in Stockholm, Sweden. Here, you’ll find posts in English and Swedish about whatever happens to interest me for the moment.


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