We are joined on the show today by Joe McReynolds, co-author of Emergent Tokyo: Designing the Spontaneous City, and we have an extensive conversation about the characteristics of Tokyo urbanism, the role of policy in the city, lessons that may be applied to charter cities, and also some of Joe's thoughts on China's current military capabilities. Joe makes a strong argument for avoiding culturally essentialist understandings of Tokyo, and also plots how the history of Tokyo eschews western understandings of urban planning strategies. We touch on the nature of Tokyo neighborhoods, rental and ownership, greenery and beautification, and much more. To finish off this fascinating chat, we turn to Joe's interest and involvement in Chinese affairs and reflect on the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on China's ambitions. So to catch all this and more in this lively and eye-opening chat with Joe, press play!
Key Points From This Episode:
• A look at Joe's two areas of expertise; urbanism in Tokyo and Chinese National security.
• Joe unpacks the different forms of relevant urbanism.
• The complexity of Tokyo's urbanism and how it stretches typical western paradigms.
• The influence of policy and design on Tokyo and its neighborhoods.
• Norms around housing, upkeep, and building standards in Tokyo.
• Ownership and renting; Joe talks about the importance of landlords in Tokyo.
• Shinto practices and the traditions that subtly bind neighborhood communities.
• Tokyo residents' attitudes towards the external impacts on individual lifestyles.
• Joe's thoughts on greenery in Tokyo.
• Lessons from Tokyo for charter cities and Joe's passion for these projects.
• The impact of international restrictions on semiconductor exports to China.
• Exploring the example that Russia's war with Ukraine is setting for China.
• Joe talks a little bit about Ephemerisle and its representation of competitive governance.