田村 明 (Akira TAMURA)
Profile of Professor Akira Tamura – Yokohama City Planner
President, Akira Tamura Memorial-A Town Planning Research Initiative NPO,
Ph.D. in Chemistry
This essay is a profile of Prof. Akira Tamura (1926-2010), one of the great city planners of post-war Japan, and a brief study of his accomplishments in Yokohama.
The meaning of the term ‘city planner’ is somewhat vague, but in post-war Japan it primarily described officers of the central government. Because the City Planning Act 1919 was not amended as part of the post-war legislative overhaul, the power of the central government remained very strong. This centralised system was well-suited to post-war reconstruction, but did not assist in addressing questions of urban planning which arose with the rapid economic growth from the 1960s onwards.
With the expansion of the Greater Tokyo Area, the population of Yokohama grew rapidly, and its land use was disorganised. The pollution and the lack of infrastructure reached a critical point. Ichio Asukata, elected in 1963 as the new socialist mayor, had to solve these issues. He devised a citizen-centric plan for Yokohama, then approached the planning office at which Tamura was working for assistance.
Tamura had studied at the architectural department at Tokyo University and majored in city planning. After graduation he first worked for the central government, but soon quit due to feeling uneasy about the elitism and sectionalism of the national bureaucracy. Having decided to pursue a career as a city planner as his vocation, Tamura studied in the Law Faculty of Tokyo University to learn a more comprehensive approach to city planning.
Tamura proposed to Asukata a new concept for Yokohama as “Japan’s ‘international management centre’”, rather than a mere satellite to Tokyo. In order to realise the concept, he recommended that six projects be implemented: the redevelopment of the urban central area, the reclamation in the Kanazawa seaside area, the building of the Kohoku New Town, a municipal subway system, highways and the Yokohama Bay Bridge. According to him, the completion of the six projects would be very costly, but would succeed if Yokohama sought the involvement of both the central government and private developers in the projects.
Tamura was invited to work at the city government and worked in the taskforce under the direction of the mayor. He became the chief planner of city administration; not only striving to realise the six projects, but also introducing guidance to control the development and management of ‘urban design’.
As Asukata left the city in 1979, Tamura worked for Yokohama for about a decade. However, his planning vision was inherited by the officers who had been educated by him. Moreover, Tamura’s accomplishments have encouraged many planners and officers in other local governments.
After he wrote his Ph.D. thesis on the local development exaction system, Tamura left Yokohama, and lectured on urban policy as a professor. He also authored twenty books and lectured to enlighten the public on city planning issues.
In short Tamura was a leader and pioneer in the field of city planning as an officer of local government, whose achievements are comparable to Daniel Burnham in Chicago in the late nineteenth century.
昭和25（1950）年3月 卒業 東大建築学科卒業論文『大都市地域構造の変動に関する研究』指導を丹下健三助教授から受ける。