Automobility and the City in Twentieth-Century Britain and Japan
Author(s): Simon Gunn, Susan C. Townsend
Automobility and the City in Twentieth-Century Britain and Japan is the first book to consider how mass motorization reshaped cities in Japan and Britain during the 20th century. Taking two leading 'motor cities', Nagoya and Birmingham, as their principal subjects, Simon Gunn and Susan C. Townsend show how cars changed the spatial form and individual experience of the modern city and reveal the similarities and differences between Japan and Britain in adapting to the 'motor age'.
The book has three main themes: the place of automobility in post-war urban reconstruction; the emerging conflict between the promise of mobility and personal freedom offered by the car and its consequences for the urban environment (the M/E dilemma); and the extent to which the Anglo-Japanese comparison can throw light on fundamental differences in cultural understanding of the environment, urbanism and the self. The result is the first comparative history of mass automobility and its environmental consequences between East and West.
“Automobility and the City in Twentieth-Century Japan and Britain is an exciting and thought-provoking piece of scholarly research. It discusses the realities of automobilisation in Britain and Japan by focusing on their representative motor cities, Birmingham and Nagoya, providing readers with the insight necessary to consider the future of automobility.” —Dr Hasegawa Jun'ichi, Keio University, Japan
“Cars transformed cities around the globe: Gunn and Townsend illuminate this worldwide phenomenon by looking in depth at the “motor cities” of two very different automotive powerhouses. Even as their careful analysis of ideas, plans, and controversies in Birmingham and Nagoya highlights the differences between Britain and Japan, it reveals the cross-cultural sway of the automobile with their stories of how cars conquered cities and divided citizens.” —Dr Brian Ladd, University of Albany, USA