Osaka to become Japan’s Manhattan?

Osaka City is planning to increase the building height restrictions alongside their landmark Misouji avenue, in the hope to create a cityscape similar to Manhattan.

The current maximum building height alongside Midosuji is 50 meters, but the city is considering lifting the limit to 200 meters by as early as 2013. The new height limit would include office buildings, apartments, education and research institutions. The city is also considering a plan to completely ban cars from the street and turn it into a park, although that is not planned for another 40 years.

In order to preserve the appearance of Midosuji, there was a 30 meter height limit imposed after the war, which was then raised in 1995.

To allow adequate sunlight, the height limit will still be 50 meters for buildings that are within 10 meters of Midosuji. Developers will be encouraged to use the rooftops of the lower buildings to plant trees and grass.

A representative from the city government said they want Midosuji to become Japan’s version of Manhattan, and hope that the greenery will match that of the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Midosuji in the 1930s

Source: The Mainichi Shimbun, February 10, 2012.