Struggling Cities: from Japanese Urban Projects in the 1960s

Exhibition presented by The Japan Foundation
August 19, 2011 – December 9, 2011
New: November Lecture Series
Tokyo-Toronto Talks

In the mid-20th century, only 25% of the world’s population lived in cities, in 50 years this figure rose to 50%. Although it took 5,000 years for the urban population to reach 25%, the rapidity of this doubling shows just how radically the urban population grew in the later 20th century.

The rapid urbanization caused drastic changes to cities and forced governments and city authorities to adapt to new conditions.However, modern urban planning has been less effective in large-scale cities because of the difficulty of maintaining organic consistency while overcoming urban problems caused by modernization. Megacities are at the forefront of this problem.

In the 1960s Tokyo became a megacity. Various experimental ideas to renovate the city flourished from architects hoping to find a way out of critical problems caused by modernization. The representative examples of these ambitious urban plans were suggested by Kenzo Tange, the Metabolists Group, and Arata Isozaki. Through a combination of diverse media—from architectural scale models to photographs, along with animations and other audio-visuals—this exhibition examines various circumstances of cities in Japan and elswhere up to the present day and identifies the distinctive aspects of those circumstances as they are manifested in present-day Tokyo.

We are happy to welcome your class, club or organization for a GROUP TOUR. Time and day of the week is flexible, including before and after gallery hours. Please contact Toshi Aoyagi at (416) 966-1600 x229 to arrange a tour.


Monday 11:30 – 7:00 Extended Hours
Tuesday 11:30 – 4:30
Wednesday 11:30 – 4:30
Thursday 11:30 – 7:00 Extended Hours
Friday 11:30 – 4:30
Selected Saturdays* noon – 5:00

*Saturday Openings:
August 20, September 10, October 1 & 15, November 5 & 19, December 3
Words on the Street: Sunday, September 25
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011: October 1st – 2nd, 7:00 pm – sunrise

other Saturdays & Sundays
September 5 (Labour Day) October 10 (Thanksgiving), November 11 (Remembrance Day)

Admission Free

The Japan Foundation, Toronto
131 Bloor Street West, 2nd floor of the Colonnade 416.966.1600 x229