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Sustainability has become one of the significant factors in urban planning. It can be said the same thing in Tokyo as well and city government has tried to make city greenery. However, there are already lots of buildings lined up and no space for green in the city center.

Originally Ebenezer Howard states the idea “Garden City”. However this idea is suitable for suburb and rural areas rather than urban areas. In addition, there is not enough space for green in Tokyo and also creating space for people has become a serious problem due to population growth. Therefore, the idea “Green City” can not adapt to urban planning in Tokyo.

“Vertical Garden City” is an idea that cities can be incorporated into nature without lots of spaces and rebuilds the center of a huge city spread out in a disorder with a super block. Effectively utilize the sky and understand in the city center, and incorporate a variety of urban functions such as jobs, living, play, business, academics, rest, culture, exchange, etc. into the three-dimensional multilayered manner, so that the compact city where you can live on foot.

As cities attempt to accommodate larger populations, there is logic in building upwards rather than downwards. High-rise buildings provide far larger floor areas than the footprint. Those floor areas do not have to be indoors. Fully landscaped outdoor spaces, activity areas and connectors linking buildings can be woven into the horizontal and vertical fabric at many levels, from basement to the top of basement to the top of buildings.

Above image is a comparison of city between Tokyo and New York. Tokyo looks constituted of small blocks packed with small buildings and also the cityscape looks disorderly. On the other hand, Manhattan looks organized with a highly orderly and systematic road network in large scale. It might show the issue that Tokyo’s urban structure of dense development in the horizontal plane and relatively low vertical development.

Vertical Green City in Tokyo

The idea of vertical garden city and urban new deal policy Mori Minoru proposed is that private enterprise visions for a remade city that is at once more densely populated, more environmental and green, and profitable for the largest developers.

By gathering land that has been subdivided into small parts into a large block and then consoled building needs in high-rise structures while exploiting man-made foundations and underground space, this approach can free a vast amount of open space at the ground level. Through vertical land development that makes intelligent use of ultrahigh-rise structures as well as underground space, a compact city enhances the efficiency of urban infrastructure, such as road system and rail transportation, while systematically integrating diverse urban functions, including living, education, retail, work and entertainment. Efficient and intelligent land use creates not only an eco-friendly city with a pleasure environment that contributes to reduced CO2 emissions and other benefits, but also a sustainable city is resistant to earthquake and enduring.




Steed Henry (2016), Greening the vertical garden city: the planning, design and management of planning in high-density tropical cities

Mori [online], Available from: [Accessed 10th Jan.]

Tokyo Green Space [online], Available from: [Accessed 10th Jan.]


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