By Bob Perry.
Kichijoji is a busy shopping district where two metro lines meet in the western suburbs of Tokyo.
This 5 minute video demonstrates many of the benefits and paradoxes of dense urban living. While cars take a background position, the remarkable dexterity of cyclists and pedestrians interacting, gives us some insight into the reasons why obesity hovers around 2% of Japan’s populations and is approaching 30% in Australia. Other surprises to suburban sensibilities include the sound of footsteps and conversation being the loudest sounds around.
Many Australians are surprised that Tokyo, with 30 million people living in the same size footprint as Sydney’s 4 million, is mostly made up of neighbourhoods that are quieter, safer, cleaner and more socially interactive than our car-dominated suburbs. Suburban paranoia about density is founded on a great ignorance regarding the real pleasures of living in a connected megacity.