Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2015

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Architecture

Degree Name

MS in Architectural Studies

Degree Type



In 1963, Japan passed the New Residential Town Development Act prompting the construction of publicly constructed large-scale residential satellite towns across the nation in response to a severe housing crisis. Addressing two case studies, Senri New Town near Osaka and Tama New Town outside of Tokyo, this thesis examines the historical and social context of the design and construction of postwar new towns by tracing the institutional, intellectual, and architectural histories that shaped their urban form. Senri New Town, the first to be built in Japan, exemplified the model for the postwar new town while Tama New Town, the largest, showcased the ways new towns began to change over time. These ambitious projects drew not only upon Japan's own legacy of public housing provisions and the thinking of architects like Nishiyama Uzō, Takayama Eika, and Konno Hiroshi but also looked to contemporary Western planning practices for inspiration, incorporating Clarence Perry's neighborhood unit, the pedestrian civic center of postwar CIAM, and garden city principles. Through its rational approach to planning, the postwar new town project did more than address Japan's severe housing crisis, offering a visionary model of suburban development at a time when suburbanization was out of control. In building the postwar new town, Japan reimagined the landscape of modern domesticity in Japan, and with it, its national identity. 1963.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Dr. Eric Mumford Dr. Seng Kuan Dr. Lori Watt