Participants are encouraged to inform themselves about the context of Shimokitazawa previous to the workshop. Below are some links you can use.

Also note that each unit has a blog. Please use it to get in touch with you team partners and the unit organizers.


The Road to Ruin, Metropolis Magazine

Article by one of the leading English language newspaper in Tokyo. It gives a good background of the 2 main development plans in Shimokitazawa, by the Odakyu Line and the Setagaya Municipal Government (Shimokitazawa belongs to the Municipality of Setagaya).

Photos of Shimokitazawa

Mix of photos of Shimokitazawa. Includes some maps of the proposed redevelopments by the governmnent (the buildings in pink on these maps are a projection of the height of the new buildings that would be built after the new roads are developed).

Save the Shimokitazawa

Website made by a local community group opposed to a plan of government to build a 26 meter-wide road throughout Shimokitazawa. Also check their excellent google-earth map of Shimokitazawa, which shows precisely the new road planned by the government:

Harvard, Keio & Meiji Shimokitazawa Studios

PDF presentation of designs proposal for the space that will be left over once the Odakyu Line goes underground. More proposals are available at

Presentation to Harvard GSD students by Kobayashi Masami (PowerPoint)

Good overview of Shimokitazawa and the main urban issues faced by the community at this point in time.

Shimokitazawa Life

Article in English by an expatriate living in Shimokitazawa writing for the Japan Railway & Transport Review.

The end of Shimokitazawa

Nice video by a Shimokitazawa lover. It gives a good feel of the atmosphere of Shimokitazawa. It also has maps and links about the master plan of the Setagaya City government for the area.

If you would like to suggest additional resources, please email