Destruction of wholesale function by commercial gentrification in inner city of Tokyo

Authors: Fuminori Tamura*, Seoul National University
Topics: Urban Geography, Asia
Keywords: gentrification, commercial gentrification, inner city
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Gallier A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Commercial gentrification drastically changes the characteristics and functions of urban area. Due to the rapidly growing number of inbound tourists (i.e., foreign visitors to Japan), hotel demands in the inner city of Tokyo have been sharply increasing in recent years. In 2016, statistics of the occupancy rate of hotels and the number of foreign tourists show the highest figures ever, it is estimated that this tendency will be continued until the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. In this sense, the pressure of construction of hotels is currently increasing in the inner city. However, various institutional obstacles including building restrictions to acquisition of large land, which hinder construction of hotels. Bakuro-Yokoyama area is the representative example area in the inner city of Tokyo. In the past, wholesale business such as clothing industry concentrated in this area. However, since the beginning of the 2000s, retail shops --- convenience stores and food services --- have replaced the existing function of this area, and hotel business such as ‘budget hotel’ have begun to flourish. This presentation introduces the historical background and the current situation of commercial gentrification in inner city of Tokyo, and provides several implications to other countries that have experienced similar gentrification.

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