横浜市立大学での講義 A lecture at Yokohama City University



At the request of Professor Nobuharu Suzuki of Yokohama City University, I was invited to give a lecture entitled "The ideas of Akira Tamura and the contemporary evaluation of his urban planning" to the postgraduate students of the Graduate School of Urban Society and Culture. It took about 10 minutes for me to resolve a suspicious circumstance of how an old man in his late 60s could talk about Akira Tamura. Toshio Taguchi, just returning from a British graduate school, joined the city administration with the declaration that he wanted to work on 'urban design'. It was when Tamura, Director of the Planning and Coordination Bureau, was ousted in 1978 during the change from the Asukata to Saigo municipal administration, Unsure of the future of the Planning and Coordination Bureau and urban design, the young people groped for survival, consequently they set up an independent study group around Tamura and engaged in anti-authoritarian behaviour within the new administration. These young people are those who have evolved Tamura's ideas and practiced to the present day. As the end of lives comes nearer, they have come to aware of their final aim to examine ‘Akira Tamura and his achievements’ objectively and scientifically. That is the background behind the establishment of Akira Tamura Memorial - A Town Planning Research Initiative NPO in 2015. However, we have to become careful not to give suspicious impression that this NPO is an organisation dedicated to exalt Akira Tamura. Members are now publishing research papers in domestic and international academic research journals and have discovered how difficult it is to verify Akira Tamura objectively and scientifically. The students asked a variety of questions, such as whether Tamura's career in national ministry, private company and planning consultancy helped him in his role in government, whether the current City of Yokohama is related to the city planning of Tamura and his colleagues in the past, and how the conflict between national values, regional values and civic values are handled. In a research on the planning and coordination function, we now consider that the Urban Science Laboratory at that time was an 'outlying area' (or 'Ryouzanpaku') where young staff, regardless of department, gathered and held independent research meetings. Naturally, today's students do not know this word itself. In other words, the message is that it is important for any organisation to have a place for independent and free learning by its staff to revitalise itself. I hope that the encounter with this unusual old man will lead to new insights for the students. By Toshio Taguchi