Tokyo City and Architecture
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Tokyo is the largest city in the world. The image of the city, notwithstanding the widespread globalisation process, is very different to what we are accustomed to in Europe, America and also in other Asian countries. The visual and cultural shock is strong: it appears extremely vast, uncontrollable, indecipherable, incommunicable, and chaotic.
Tokyo is one of the few global cities, and, like London, New York and perhaps one or two others, is part of a real trans national system. It is an extraordinary capital of contemporary architecture and, at the same time, constitutes an exceptional urban phenomenon that is impossible not to study with great interest. More importantly is the fact that, behind an apparently abstract debate, the city poses a substantial problem: does it represent the final decay of the Western city or rather is it something completely different, a city with its own deep rooted historical diversity and specific cultural independence that has not been substantially modified by the powerful and recent hybridisation with the West? And also, does the city interest us for these reasons or rather because it is/appears to be the city which not being a part of the Eastern tradition has, more than any other place, embraced the challenge of the new millennium and projected itself into the future, spurring rapid change with the energy, recklessness and aggression that is possible only in a place that has never been part of a tradition, to the point that it has substantiated a new symbolic form in the urban phenomenology of the twenty first century?
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