A telling quote from this article about the lesson's of Tokyo's growth to a world-class, ultramodern city rich with human-scale neighborhoods based on local commerce:
> What’s more, the Tokyo model is simply an elegant one that follows the path of least resistance, allowing order and mess to naturally combine as they would without top-down intervention. It’s hard to imagine a better example of “development” in its most holistic dimension: Houses, neighborhoods, economies and communities all rising in concert with one another. The environment is deeply connected to processes of collective growth, because people, objects and lived spaces are all knit together by the impulse to constantly improve and transform. Through this process, with very little capital, we see how user-generated neighborhoods invest in the idea of growth and mobility, where self-interest and successful urbanism are one and the same.
The article, one of the best I've read in a long time:
Some pictures Gina and I took in Japan showing the results of the phenomena the article details: