Nagoya: City Planning For The Car-Free Future

nagoya hirokoji design image

(Design: Sugiyama Women's College)

When Nagoya City decided to let design students present their ideas for the city center, they got a bunch of creative minds to come up with some really novel ideas. The city council has approved a generous budget for change, and for three days, the young designers are displaying their diverse projects and models. A common theme is more trees, getting rid of the personal car, or at least make the city center a lot more pedestrian-friendly. Reducing the current four car lanes to two, or rebuilding the entire area for bipeds only?

nagoya hirokoji walking design image

(Design: The Aichi Institute of Technology)

Here, the idea is to get people to move, and allow for different actions to happen. They think of this design as "organic" in the sense that there are ups-and-downs, no straight lines, and no unnatural features.

nagoya hirokoji bus design image

(Design: The Aichi Shukutoku College)

Taking into account that buses are needed to get people back and forth, this design allows for generous pavements, and elevated spaces with grass and flowers, to accomodate the variety of needs of people who gather in the city. I can imagine amateur street musicians performing up there on the squares, with their loyal Junior High school fans enjoying a tune or two. If you want young people to take over the city center, this could be ideal.

nagoya hirokoji cat design image

Nagoya: A city with world-leading industrial technologies is the slogan of a JETRO program to draw investors to the city. Well, they have Toyota right next door, and developing industrial sectors include environment, medical care/welfare/health, information, and advanced science technologies including new manufacturing technologies. Now, some 40% of Japan’s automobiles, automobile parts, machine tools, and aircraft parts are produced here. A future without cars? They are already planning for it.

The attractiveness of cities is one of the key issues on the agenda of urban policy planners in Japan and beyond:

The impact of globalisation and the emergence of knowledge-based economies creates a formidable challenge for them in their endeavour to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of their cities by achieving a flexible, adaptable and diverse local economic structure, which would better position their cities faced with global competition.

OECD: Enhancing City Attractiveness for the Future

Nagoya City: Urban Renaissance Urgent Development Areas of Nagoya Station, Fushimi and Sakae.

Read more:
Cairo's Congested Ramses Square to be Redesigned for "Urban Harmony"
Buenos Aires Wants to be Cleaner
$5.2 Billion Rail Project in Washington, D.C. A Sign of the Times
Eco-Towns: Three Models of Green Urban Planning
Urban Design After the Age of Oil

Written by Martin Frid at

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