Knowledge economy challenges for post-developmental state: Tsukuba Science City as in-between place


This paper examines the planning) history and current planning challenges facing Tsukuba Science City. Drawing on original empirical material, it suggests that Tsukuba can be seen as an in-between place in three respects. Tsukuba began life as an instance of the international garden-campus-suburb orthodoxy surrounding science spaces, and now falls somewhere in between an independent city and a suburb of greater Tokyo. Tsukuba’s predicament in this regard is intimately related to the broader policy challenges facing Japan as it transitions from a developmental to a post-developmental state. Chief among these challenges is effectively inserting a science city like Tsukuba into an increasingly globalised ‘New Argonaut’ market for skilled labour. I make use of Appadurai’s notion (1996) of ‘scapes’ to interpret Tsukuba as an in-between place but also to highlight the practical challenges of it securing a central position within the global science landscape of modernity

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