The purpose of this study is to explore the trends and the backgrounds behind the changes in the cityscapes of Tokyo. Skyscrapers (high-rise buildings taller than 100m) first appeared in Tokyo in the late 1960s, and in the early 21st century total over 300. Their construction trends can be divided into three periods ; “pre-economic bubble (1968-87)”, “economic bubble (1988-97)”, and “post-economic bubble (since 1998)”. For example, only 49 skyscrapers were built in the first twenty years (pre-bubble period). During the 10 year bubble period, that figure doubled. In the 8 years following the bubble period, more than 150 appeared. In particular, 2003 recorded the completion of 33 new skyscrapers resulting in a so-called “2003 problem” ― the oversupply of new office space. Moreover, almost 100 skyscrapers are to be completed during the three years beginning 2006. This boom in skyscraper construction has been supported by the “Urban Renaissance Special Measure Law” (Law No.22 ― April 5, 2002) based on the government’s emergent economic measures. This law, which went into effect on June 1, 2002 under the supervision of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, was enacted in order to revitalize the Japanese economy by promoting urban renewal. Various measures, including deregulations in urban planning in special districts as well as financial support to developers, are currently being implemented under this ten-year durational law. As a result, urban development projects have become even more numerous than they were in the late 1980s (bubble economy). High-rise condominiums, called “tower mansions”, have been increasing in number throughout Tokyo, thus greatly increasing the population in the center of the metropolis. The formation of these growing skylines is diversified according to the different area of Tokyo. In the core area, which has developed as the CBD, large-scale office buildings have been gradually transformed into skyscrapers. Through horizontal expansion of this business area, various redevelopment complexes now exist on the periphery of the CBD. Skyscrapers in Shinjuku (the sub-center) have been erected at the redeveloped site of the former water filtration plant. Including the new Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, 14 skyscrapers were constructed on this site over the 20 years beginning in 1971. Accordingly, the creation of this new business center triggered several consecutive developments in the surrounding area as well. Waterfront areas, once regarded as industrial and physical distribution centers, have rapidly changed their function. Due to structural changes in Japanese industry, these areas were redeveloped in the 1980s and have since been revived as suitable areas for offices and residences.
This study focuses on the post-1991 features of large-scale residential areas of over 20 hectares in size in the Sendai metropolitan area, and considers research concerning their regional problems. Since the bubble economy period (1985-1991), of the 25 developed residential areas in the Sendai region, 60% are located outside Sendai city, while 36 % are located in the southern portion of the metropolitan area. Of these developments, 61 % are land readjustment, 18 % are public developments, and a little more than 15 % are private developments. These percentages compare similarly to the pre-1991 figures of developments. Only two development areas are more than 100 hectares. This latter feature is different from the bubble economy period. In recent times, a variety of regional problems in the residential areas has arisen. These problems are derived from two factors. One reason is the aging of the inhabitants in the suburban building estates developed more than 20 years ago. Many shops, shopping centers, medical services and other facilities in these areas have closed down and some school classrooms, bus routes, and recreation areas for children have become surplus. The other reason is a shortage of the regional demand for suburban building estates. After 1991, these demands have decreased and many residents have preferred apartments in the downtown area. This change in the regional market demand for housing and housing estates, make the provision of schools, commercial facilities and so on, difficult. The solutions to these respective problems need to be considered, However, as the problems are different, so need to be the measures taken to address them.
The purpose of this paper is to analyzes the locations of head and branch offices of major companies and administrative organs in the 82 “livelihood spheres”. We quantitatively grasp the characteristics and hierarchical structure of these offices location and administrative systems.