International Review for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development
Online ISSN : 2187-3666
ISSN-L : 2187-3666
Regular Research Article
The Expansion of Densely Inhabited Districts in a Megacity - Case of Tokyo
Seth MberegoYan Li
Author information

2017 Volume 5 Issue 3 Pages 116-133


Understanding the patterns of human concentrations within megacities is of fundamental importance to our understanding of megacity dynamics, and for megacity management and policy making. This study presents an updated investigation of the historical expansion of densely inhabited districts (DIDs) in the world's largest megacity, Tokyo. Long-term DID data (1960-2010) at 5- year intervals were analyzed in a geographic information systems framework. Results show that Tokyo completed rapid growth phase and is now in a maturity phase with minimal growth. Extension was the main form of expansion, although fragmented growth in the form of patches was also noted. The rate of DID expansion was strongly related to economic trends. However the direction and shape of expansion was influenced much by geographic and policy related factors. West and southern directions had earlier and greater expansion, likely related to the historical Tōkaidō corridor. Over 95% of all DIDs are located within 4km distance from a railway line. The coastline and distance from the CBD had some modifying influence. During the course of expansion, there was substantial decrease of population density in the inner wards. Future trends in Tokyo's DIDs will be greatly influenced by aging demographic trends. This study therefore shows that megacity spatial expansion is a dynamic process influenced by various processes whose roles vary over time.

Information related to the author
© 2017 SPSD Press.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons [Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International] license.
Previous article