With Tokyo 2020 just 5 years away, the Games have triggered a wave of redevelopment projects in Japan’s capital. In total 22 urban redevelopment projects have been launched in central Tokyo’s national strategic zones; Bunkyo, Chiyoda, Chuo, Koto, Minato, Ota, Shibuya, Shinagawa and Shinjuku.
Set for completion over the next decade, these redevelopment projects act as a catalyst for urban change in the region. Special provisions in the City Planning Law in place for Tokyo 2020 will mean several of these projects will be complete by 2020 fulfilling the hope of Tokyo becoming a global tourism and business hub by the Games.
Projects include the development of international convention centres, cultural and business facilities, new subway lines, and commercial and residential buildings. Tokyo’s 9 national strategic zones will each have a different redevelopment emphasis.
In the Hibiya area, Mitsui Fudosan Co. will construct a 35-storey building dubbed the New Hibiya Project set for completion in 2017. The building will house cultural and arts facilities collaborating with nearby theatres on creative projects. Besides cultural and arts facilities, the building could be used as a disaster shelter if a major disaster struck Tokyo. Around Yurakhucho Station another major project is taking place; the former Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building site will be transformed into a large-scale international convention centre. In nearby Otemachi a multifunctional development, Block B-3 will be complete by 2018 containing office, commercial and conference spaces. At the end of this year a new building will be opening in Marunouchi complete with office, commercial and residential facilities.
Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe has designated the areas of Nihonbashi and Kabutocho as Tokyo’s international financial centre. According to reports a facility is planned in the Nihonbashi and Kabutocho areas; asset management companies located here will be able to support entrepreneurship, whilst investors and companies can conduct mutual exchanges here.
Completed in 2011 and opened in 2014, Toranomon Hills is Toranomon’s latest development; it opened a new section of Loop Road No. 2, joining the Toranomon and Shimbashi business districts. By 2016 Toranomon will be connected to the bay-side areas enabling easy access to Narita Airport, attracting more foreign businesses and tourists to the area. Toranomon Hills has triggered the areas regeneration with six redevelopment projects concentrated here.
In the Toranomon area many landmark buildings and facilities will be reborn in the next 10 years with several high-rise buildings set for completion by 2020. Redevelopment projects include Hotel Okura Tokyo main building, Toranomon 2-Chome District and Toranomon 4-Chome Project. This comes right after the standout Toranomon Hills, a city-within-a-city that is one of the most luxurious destinations in Tokyo right now. Running a long side that is the wide open road that runs through Toranomon and Shimbashi; known locally as Macarthur Road, this has been specificially designed as Champs-Elysées style central boulevard. International business centres are set to be developed in the area, as well as housing and medical facilities. By the time the Games are held in Tokyo the Toranomon area will be part of the Hibiya line with Toranomon-Shin Station now under construction. Other projects in Minato-ku include Tokyo Nihonbashi Tower (April 2015) and Hamamatsu-Cho 2-4 District (2024).
Shibuya Station has long been a contrast between the aging, slightly decrepid state of its buildings and the youthful lifestyle they espouse. With the recent completion of Shibuya Hikarie and the integration of the Fukotoshin and Toyoko rail lines however, this is already changing. Under construction right now are four redevelopment projects, including a new area around the station designed by famed architect Kengo Kuma. Each new development in Shibuya is divided into 4 blocks with completion staggered over a decade: Shibuya Station Block (2020 and 2027), Shibuya Station South Block (2018), Dogenzaka Block (2018) and Sakuragoaka Block (2020). Each block will contain high-rise buildings housing commercial facilities, creative industries, offices, foreign businesses, support facilities for foreigners and entrepreneurs, apartments, a hotel, hall and church. The area around the station will be reborn by Tokyo 2020. The redevelopment of Shibuya aims “to make an environment to cultivate high quality creative contents” , to enhance the area as a business hub, to create a new platform for Japanese pop culture and to help the former tech-center regain its place in the economy.