Modern regional development in Japan

From the Kiso river improvement project to the city planning of Gifu


  • Yoshifumi Demura Gifu University



Although modern Japanese cities are the products of an urban planning system, this system is itself rooted in the histories of towns and provincial areas, that had previously grown in the context of local economic needs and resources. However, in the early stages of urbanisation, the new infrastructure derived from the West did not necessarily complement the existing local urban environment. This was eventually reconciled by a series of infrastructure development projects, which were presented to local city planners for feedback. This study focuses on a typical example of this process in Gifu, Japan; it presents a description of the steps by which the region was gradually modernised by means of a river improvement project that led to the implementation of urban planning.