14 Jun 12:00am
Has Tokyo reached ‘peak city’?
You could argue that the world’s biggest city has hit a sweet spot: a flatlining population, pervasive transit and little gentrification. But is ‘peak city’ even possible – and where does Tokyo go from here? Tokyo is often described as crowded, mushrooming, figuratively bursting at the seams. Except, in many ways, it’s not. Unlike many megacities, the world’s largest metropolitan area has largely stopped growing, either in land or population. Where Mumbai, Lagos or São Paulo continually sprout new informal neighbourhoods that are constantly outstripping the ability of the city to catch up, Tokyo’s urban planning and services more or less seamlessly encompass the central wards and the neighbouring cities of Kawasaki, Yokohama, Chiba and Saitama that form its unbroken metropolitan area. Like