CCTV and urban regeneration in Nippori

The link between urban regeneration or redevelopment and the introduction of video surveillance has been well documented by many different authors in Britain, in particularly Roy Coleman in Reclaiming the Streets. It seems that the link is strong in Tokyo too. This new CCTV scheme in the front of Nippori railway station in Arakawa-ku is not only clearly part of the social and spatial restructuring of this area, it is an essential part of the new image, with the new entranceway celebrating the security cameras as much as the area’s name. This is the area we were told by Shinjuku officials had only three cameras, whereas in fact it has the princely total of ten! In retrospect the Shinjuku people seemed to be rather condescending towards Arakawa-ku.

Author: David

I'm David Murakami Wood. I live on Wolfe Island, in Ontario, and am Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surveillance Studies and an Associate Professor at Queen's University, Kingston.

One thought on “CCTV and urban regeneration in Nippori”

  1. Interesting blog, which I’m glad I’ve found.

    In Britain redevelopment is also closely linked to the privatisation of public spaces. Parts of the city are given to companies to redevelop as retail and private housing schemes which are patrolled by security guards and surveyed by cctv. People who are not in an area to consume are ‘suspicious’ this is when cctv is used as a tool of social exclusion. Whilst this has been accepted in ‘closed’ shopping malls where it’s obvious you are leaving a public area and going through doors and entering a shop – a recent development is areas that are not enclosed, but have been given to private developers.

    Whilst commenting, I’d like to talk a bit about a photographic project doing about cctv –
    I’ve made a couple of short videos which can be seen here on vimeo:
    a flickr stream where I post my photographs of cctv:
    You can download a pdf of a magazine I’ve produced about cctv at:

    Keep up the good work

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