The importance of the metropolis in contemporary Japanese culture has made the nation an energetic and innovative playground for urban land use. ‘Loose Zoning’ was developed as part of the Jon A. Jerde Travelling Fellowship, which provided me funding for a 14-day, independently-planned and executed trip to Japan. It explores the successes and failures of mixed use zoning policies that have shaped the development of Japan’s mega-cities. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to come full circle in a sense, applying these findings to professional practice to enhance Los Angeles’ built environment and physical identity. The investigation sparked provocations such as:
1. How has a lack of zoning affected Tokyo’s built environment?
2. Can we compare the dynamic, mixed-used zones in Tokyo to existing conditions in American cities such as Los Angeles.
3. How can we investigate the informality and ‘messy’ nature of the contemporary decentralized city, discerning material and scale relationships that contribute to creating specific spatial ambiances within areas of the city.