Urbanisation and urban renewal

19 Nov 2020

Once Tokyo was named as host of the 1964 Olympic Games, Japan used the platform to accelerate a 10-year National Capital Region Development Plan. This included harbour development, housing and tourist accommodation projects, promoting the development of water supply and wastewater treatment, as well as creating new parks.

In an attempt to improve the health and quality of life of the city’s population, particular attention was given to various hygiene projects ahead of Tokyo 1964, including expanding the existing fresh water and sewerage piping facilities. Three new wastewater treatment plants were constructed.

In anticipation of the tourists arriving in Tokyo, modernisation projects were undertaken to enlarge and extend facilities in the Port of Tokyo which have continued in subsequent decades. As of 2020, the Port of Tokyo has developed into the biggest industrial and urban area in Japan and one of the major centres of the global economy.

Olympic tourism also prompted the construction of a series of glamorous hotels across Tokyo, ranging from the Tokyo Prince Hotel to the 17-floor Hotel New Otani – the tallest building in the city at the time. The accommodation provided by these hotels has reportedly played a role in Japan’s subsequent economic growth, while some have gone on to be globally famous through appearances in movies. The Hotel Otani, built in 1964, appeared in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, along with other major movies of the decade.

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