与本次会议相关的出版物有:《购物——城市与社会的商场化》（Shopping- Mallization of City and Society 2013)、《“时空“转换》(Transformations of “Time-and-Space” 2009)、《城市寓言》(Allegory of City 1999)等。
Malls and Bay Area: Sociological Reflections on Contemporary Urban Fabric from Tokyo Metropolitan Area
In his urban theory, Henri Lefebvre proposed the distinction between “city” and “urban” (in French “ville” and “urbaine”). Classical theories of urban sociology such as “Urbanism as a Way of Life” (1938) by Louis Wirth used the term “urban” as an adjective describing a characteristic social attribute of the “city” – a complex of land, buildings, populations, social organizations, institutions etc. In contrast to such classical theories, Lefebvre uses the term “urban” as a social principle that goes beyond an attribution to a specific place or group, allowing people, things and information to be transported, encountered and exchanged.
Cities have been social forms that have linked “urban” social principles with other principles such as “agricultural” and “industrial”. Therefore, in many civilization
/s, “cities” have been metaphors for governance. Within cities, urban social principles enable coexistence and communication of various different communities and social groups. Cities also have enabled social, economic, political and cultural exchanges and transport between cities, regions and states. “City” has been defined as a social, political, economic and spatial unit and as a metaphor making it possible to image, think, manipulate and govern local and global society.
Through the industrialization of societies, the connection between urban social principle, industrial social principle, and nation-states produced “industrial cities”. However, this connection also promoted modern urbanization, which destroyed the traditional forms and organizations of cities both internally and externally. This social change through the 20th century is the background of the transformation from “city” to “urban fabric”. Moreover, the dissemination of digital information networks from the end of the 20th century made the extension of the urban fabric into “virtual” space possible. Urban fabric today is a hybrid of the real and the virtual, the physical and the informational.
If we use “urban fabric” instead of “city” as a metaphor for governance, what sort of new understanding about society and cities can be obtained? In order to answer this question, we have to examine the socio-spatial structure of contemporary urban-fabric. As an example of such research, I would like to introduce two recent research projects of mine. One is the research on shopping malls, the other is the research on the socio-spatial structure of the Tokyo Bay area.
Shopping malls are nodes within the urban fabric that simulate traditional urban central areas and they are also woven into the fabric of the information network and transportation network. In addition, although shopping malls are commercial facilities managed by private enterprises, they play an important role as public spaces in the same way as the centers of rural towns, suburban areas and inner-cities used to do. In the contemporary urban fabric, “urban” and “industrial”, “public”, “common” and “private”, “material” and “informational”, “economic” and “cultural”, “local” and “global” converge in shopping malls and make up socio-spatial complexes.
From the research on the Tokyo Bay Area, we can understand macro structures and layers of urban fabric that are functioning as infrastructure of contemporary urban spaces such as shopping malls. Although the Tokyo Bay area is bordering the city center of Tokyo, it is a kind of “frontier” in the urbanization of the city. The newly constructed landfills of this area are spaces that respond to new demands for consumption and entertainment as well as to the infrastructure that maintains today’s urban activities with warehouses, energy facilities, railways and highways. Analyzing the socio-spatial structure of this area would be useful to understand the social and technological bases of Tokyo metropolitan area as an urban fabric.