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ParkscapesGreen Spaces in Modern Japan$
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Thomas R. H. Havens

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834777

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834777.001.0001

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Parks and Prosperity, 1950s–1980s

Parks and Prosperity, 1950s–1980s

(p.122) Chapter 4 Parks and Prosperity, 1950s–1980s

Thomas R. H. Havens

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines urban and natural parks during the era of sustained economic growth from the 1950s through the 1980s. A number of interrelated events sparked public demand for both national and city parks in Japan from the end of the occupation in 1952 until the economic slowdown of the early 1990s. Environmental concerns expressed by neighborhood groups beginning in the mid-1960s added to the clamor for more green spaces in the cities, resulting in the expansion of urban parks between 1960 and 1990. This chapter first considers how public spaces were conceived as a way to stimulate positive attitudes as Japan was grappling with the meaning of postwar democracy. It then discusses the City Parks Law of 1956 and how it provided the impetus for planning open spaces in the capital region. It also describes the creation of more city and national parks at a time when Japan was enjoying high-speed growth, along with the issue of environmental protection regarding city park planning. The chapter concludes with an assessment of urban green spaces during the affluent 1970s and 1980s.

Keywords:   urban parks, natural parks, economic growth, city parks, green space, public space, City Parks Law 1956, open space, national parks, environmental protection

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