Polytechnic

The personal brain-dump of Garrett Coakley

Small vehicles of Tokyo

A Japanese man in a uniform pushes a small cart down a streetImage © Dan Hill

I love this deep dive into Tokyo’s local scale infrastructure.

When visiting Tokyo, if you are attuned to eating the world with your eyes and particularly the layers of urban life bigger than a cellphone and smaller than a building, one of the first things you’ll notice is how comparatively small the vehicles seem to be. Then, the sheer variety of these small vehicles. And then, how these vehicles, by virtue of their humble and appropriate scale and speed, help produce the city’s often delightfully humane streets. And then finally, that these small vehicles are scurrying around the world’s largest city.

By way of comparison, the municipal and commercial vehicles blasting around Manhattan, for example, are more like hulking tanks, built for battle, apparently ready to face off against the army of gargantuan SUVs contesting the same spaces. But in Tokyo, a city three times larger, the small scale of the vehicles makes instinctive sense.

Small vehicles of Tokyo by Dan Hill

(via the always excellent Webcurios newsletter)