The Bartlett School of Planning


Hiroaki Ohashi


Research subject

Thesis title: Suburban Fortunes: Urban Policies, Planning and Suburban Transformation in Tokyo Metropolis

Primary supervisor: Professor Nick Phelps
Secondary supervisor: Professor John Tomaney

Sponsor: (Partial Sponsorships) John Crump Studentship (Final-stage PhD scholarship)/ BAJS Studentship / Inoue Masaru Scholarship (UCL 1863 Japan Scholarship)/ One-off Grant from the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust/ Travel Study Grant from Gilchrist Educational Trust

Starting date: September 2014

Completion date: May 2018

In recent decades, Tokyo Metropolis has experienced both socio-demographic transformation, e.g. population aging, falling birth rates and changes in societal values and economic restructuring, e.g. industrial advances with growing high-tech industries and deindustrialisation in the post-Fordist era under the situation of continuing globalisation. Long after massive suburbanisation in the rapid economic growth period, the suburban realm of Tokyo Metropolis, officially called ‘Tama Area’, has experienced multifaceted suburban restructuring under the circumstances of re-concentration into the central areas in these specific metropolitan contexts. This suburban restructuring has caused different trajectories of Tokyo’s suburban municipalities depending on their geographical locations and past development paths. It is a big planning issue to examine Tokyo’s suburban restructuring and clarify how urban policies should be formulated to achieve suburban sustainability and avert suburban decline or stagnation.


Firstly, by two-stage analysis at different scales of 1) all suburban municipalities and 2) case studies, the research examines their different trajectories from both short- and long-term perspectives by exploring interactions among three dimensions of urban policies, socio-demographic transformation and economic restructuring. Secondly, the research investigates influences of urban policies and their changes, which have been formulated and implemented under the three-tier governmental system of Japan, on the suburban restructuring. Finally, the research provides key policy and planning implications for sustainable planning and design of suburban fortunes in Tokyo Metropolis for future generations, and addresses applications of these lessons to other global cities in other advanced nations and/or Asian countries which might experience similar phenomena in the future.


Dr. Hiroaki OHASHI has specialised in urban and regional policy, planning, and development. In Japan, he is a registered Professional Engineer (Civil Engineering: Urban and Regional Planning), Approved Urban Renewal Planner, registered Real Estate Transaction Agent, Licensed Representative of Condominium Management Company, URCA Condominium Rebuilding Advisor, JTCOS Commercial Facility Specialist and Affiliated Financial Planner (AFP) in Japan with other professional qualifications. He is a member of academic and professional societies in both international and domestic arenas including International Society of City and Regional Planners (as of June 2018, Deputy Bureau Member/ National Delegate Member of Japan), the City Planning Institute of Japan, and Groundscape Design Institute in Japan.


He completed his BEng in Civil Engineering and MEng in Civil Engineering at the Department of Civil Engineering, the University of Tokyo, Japan. After these, he completed his MSc with Distinction in Built Environment: Advanced Architectural Studies at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies and MArch in Architectural Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, United Kingdom; both were awarded by University of London. After graduation, he experienced international and domestic consultancy services in the field of planning at two construction consulting firms within the same company group in Japan. His international work experiences include Qatar, Mongolia, Ghana, Vietnam and China. After these, he started the MPhil/PhD course at the Bartlett School of Planning in September 2014. Thus, he completed his PhD in Urban and Regional Planning, which was awarded by UCL, in May 2018. During his PhD study, he was awarded John Crump Studentship (Final-stage PhD scholarship), BAJS Studentship, Inoue Masaru Scholarship (UCL 1863 Japan Scholarship), a one-off grant from the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust and a travel study grant from Gilchrist Educational Trust, expressing his sincere appreciations to these entities.


His interests include spatial and urban policies and planning, international comparative planning studies, urban and architectural analysis and design, urban renewal and regeneration, spatial economic development, and interdisciplinary approaches for the built environment among urban planning and design, architecture, civil engineering, public policies and urban economics. Based on these interests, he has been continuously eager to expand his urban experiences and insights in an increasingly globalised world; as of June 2018, he has so far visited over thirty-five foreign countries (their over sixty cities) outside of Japan.

Relational Links

British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS): John Crump Studentship (Final-stage PhD scholarship) and BAJS Studentship




University College London (UCL): Inoue Masaru Scholarship (UCL 1863 Japan Scholarship)



The Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust



Gilchrist Educational Trust