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Over the last fifteen years local citizens' movements have spread rapidly throughout Japan. Created with the aim of improving the quality of the local environment, and of environmental management processes, such activities are widely referred to as machizukuri, and represent an important development in local politics and urban management in Japan.

This volume examines the growth and nature of such civil society participation in local urban and environmental governance, raising important questions about the changing roles of and relations between central and local government, and between citizens and the state, in managing shared spaces. The machizukuri processes studied here can be seen as the focus of an important emerging trend toward increased civic participation in managing processes of urban change in Japan. The contributors provide a comprehensive overview of the machizukuri phenomenon through examination not only of theory and history, but also of case studies illustrating real changes in the institutions of place making and neighbourhood governance.

Living Cities in Japan will be of particular value to readers interested in social, urban, geographical and environmental studies.

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