Armelle LE MOUËLLIC
During the 1970s, the “Sendai Developers Committee” was established by the Sendai Municipality and brought together the central government, the private sector and academics. This committee has developed a vast plan for the city, called “the ideal form of Sendai; the city of trees: a proposal for its future ‘. Yoshihiko Sasaki (professor of architecture at Tohoku University) and Yoshizaka Takamasa (professor of architecture at Waseda University in Tokyo) have a mission to create a common image for the city, around a concept intelligible by all. The project and, in particular, the final report has been documented and commented by the professionals of urban planning in Japan. We will focus in this article on the type of representation used and especially on fisheye maps. A large panel of illustrations can be found in the final report of this project: from maps of the Sendai region to very detailed urban situations. The fisheye map is a specific distortion of the map that combines three maps of different scales: the neighborhood, the city and the large landscape. The renewal of the traditional map opens the way to a new understanding of the city. Beyond the thinking of relationships between different scales, it is also the consideration of each of the actors in his own representation of space. These maps become a place for discussion between residents, associations and municipalities.
In particular, we have representations that allow several scales to coexist, a response to the discontinuity inherent in the urban project. We wonder if they do not prefigure representations allowed by new technologies.
Through the analysis of this project, it is also the beginning of the practice of machizukuri (bottom-up approach in the Japanese urban design, which became popular in the 1990s) that can be discovered. It creates a “platform”: a space and time devoted to discussions between different types of actors. This “platform” is also the place of collaboration between the university, local associations and the municipality. This type of “platform” allows the recognition of local resources and the importance of relationships between urban morphology and landscape. Fisheye maps are still used today as images for reconstruction processes after the March 2011 tsunami on the coast of the Tohoku region (of which Sendai is the capital).
(Français) La carte fish-eye pour le projet de la ville de Sendai au Japon : Échelles imbriquées, espaces communs et représentations partagées