The Diversity and Versatility of Alleys in a City in Transition
By Heide Imai
The Japanese urban alleyway, which was once part of people’s personal spatial sphere and everyday life has been transformed by diverse and competing interests. Marginalised through the emergence of new forms of housing and public spaces, re-appropriated by different fields, and re-invented by the contemporary urban design discourse, the social meaning attached to the roji is being re-interpreted by individuals, subcultures and new social movements. The book will introduce and discuss examples of urban practices which take place within the dynamic urban landscape of contemporary Tokyo to portray the life cycle of an urban form being rediscovered, commodified and lost as physical space.