The Hatoyama government’s ambitious carbon reduction goals position Japan for leadership in the postindustrial global economy. Less discussed is Tokyo’s remarkable energy efficiency, urban ecology innovations, and its potential for playing a leading role in the next decade’s biggest environmental challenge: creating sustainable cities with human and environmental benefits.

Last century’s urban renewal relied on demolition and displacement, which frequently privileged real estate profit over the needs of local residents. New urbanism transforms the imperfect built environment with the resourcefulness of existing communities. Key concepts are in-fill, participation, livable streets, reuse and a new relationship between cities and nature.

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