Local Government Coordination in 1960s Yokohama, Japan: The Case of the Inner-City Motorway Project

Taguchi, Toshio

Ngā Pūtahitanga / Crossings: A Joint Conference of SAHANZ and the Australasian UHPH Group

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In the 1960s, when the inner-city motorway was introduced as a new urban infrastructure, major cities worldwide faced a severe shortage of urban space for installation. Yokohama was gifted, as it could utilise its disused canals, but faced many difficulties in changing its route and structure into undergrounding. In 1968, the Mayor of Yokohama invited urban planner Akira Tamura to set up the Planning and Coordination Office (PCO). Since the route and structure of the inner-city motorway in the central part of Yokohama had been authorised by the national ministry, a year of coordinative tasks led by the PCO seemed impossible, considering the highly centralised Japanese administrative system. The success of this case marked a paradigm shift in the initiatives led by local governments. The theme of this study is to clarify how the newly born agency tackled the task that evolved into the “coordinative mechanism” within the municipal administration.