August 24, 2020

Containing Covid-19 in megacities: Japan’s thoughtful urban planning has a lesson for the world

Kadambari Shah and Harshita Agrawal share their experience in visiting Japan. In this article, they highlight three key characteristics of the Japanese urban planning: maximising space, integrating public transport systems and focusing on quality of life. They argue that these contributed to the containment of COVID-19 in Japan's megacities.

Excerpts below:

" With a population of nearly 38 million, the Greater Tokyo Area is one of the most populous metropolitan regions in the world. But, unlike in many other big cities, the novel coronavirus has been largely contained in Japanese cities.


As of August 19, Japan saw nearly 57,000 cases and a little over 1,100 deaths. Evidently, Japan is doing something right, in the planning of both its hotel rooms and cities. As researchers of urbanisation, on our trip, we spotted three key lessons – how to maximise space, the importance of integrated public transport systems to aid mobility and a relentless emphasis on quality of life for residents.

Every city and culture faces a unique set of challenges, but the process of overcoming these challenges and transforming them into advantages can be useful lessons for cities around the world – and for more optimal hotel rooms."

Read full article here

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