Essay on How Yokohama’s (Yokohama City, Japan) Marine Transportation Can Promote Urban Transformation and Reshape Urban Structure

Published: 2021/11/24
Number of words: 1586

Yokohama City


In simple terms, a commercial area refers to a particular geographic space with buildings in which business activities take place daily. On the other hand, a residential area refers to a geographical space or locality with buildings-whether, single rooms, apartments, or mansions occupied by people. There is a close relationship that exists between residential and commercial areas. For example, there is a transportations systems relationship with commercial and residential areas. Transportation systems play a fundamental role in urbanization, and as far as the development of the industrial regions is concerned. Sound transportation systems provide a pleasant business environment for business to be conducted, which, in turn, stimulates an area into a commercial hub. Excellent transportation systems can easily lead to urbanization (Hui, Li, Chen & Lang 2018). This paper’s primary focus is to investigate through thorough research on how Yokohama, Japan’s widely recognized city for marine transportation, can promote urban transformation and reshape urban structures.

Yokohama is one of the most populated Japanese cities located in the southern part of Tokyo. The city has had tremendous progress in terms of growth, development, and urbanization over the past years. It plays an essential role in foreign trade as it acts as a port centre. The Yokohama port started in the 19th century to facilitate Japan’s international trade. The city has since then grown in a large commercial hub. There numerous factors that have led to the growth of Yokohama into a business hub. Among them include the fact that Yokohama has got good transportation systems. The city has a well-designed building infrastructure; roads, railway lines, airlines, and port. The main focus in this article, however, is Yokohama’s marine transportations systems. The main aim of creating a marine transportation system in Yokohama was to aid Japan’s foreign trade. The shipping of goods and services from and to foreign nations is accomplished in Japan via Yokohama marine transportation system. Yokohama has got an excellent port that facilitates international business. This is not the case with the ancient ties. Yokohama city had an unhealthy environment for cultural, entertainment, and event marketing. Poor infrastructures were resulting in congestion (Ducruet & Notteboom 2012). However, the turning of Yokohama into a waterfront, has led to many fast transformations in Yokohama.

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The port city of Yokohama has undergone rapid transformations over the past years. The city has an outstanding marine transportation system architectural design. This design permits the continuous growth of the city into a commercial centre. The city initially struggled because of unfavorable environmental factors, such as congestion, increasing amounts of waste disposal, and the fact that people led to unhealthy lifestyles then. However, the marine transportation systems have positively impacted Yokohama, turning it into the commercial hub. The Yokohama port city is no longer congested. Daily operations are carried out in a seamless manner. Wastage disposal has also been put under control because of the marine transportation. The introduction of the marine transportation system in Yokohama has contributed significantly to urban transformation. The city is now clean and less congested. The city has rapidly grown into an urban centre courtesy of the marine transportation system. The marine transportation systems have led to the adoption of the contemporary landscaping techniques, which has, in turn, reshaped the city’s structures (Hui, Li, Chen & Lang 2018). There is excellent infrastructure surrounding the port. Better roads have been built in Yokohama because of the marine transportation system that has turned the city into a commercial centre.

The launching of Minato Mirai 21 project in Yokohama in 1981 was the main key to the city’s transformations. This project had the aim of transforming the Yokohama city in many ways. For example, the project had a plan of making Yokohama more attractive as Tokyo. Many people travelled to Tokyo, searching for job/employment opportunities as well as the superb culture they experienced. The marine transportation systems designed in the 1980s was meant to revitalize the Yokohama port city. Yokohama urban transformations are due to the maritime transportation systems. These systems reduces both human and traffic congestion. There are pedestrians and bicycles ways. Besides, the marine transportation system is designed to reduce the congestion caused by vehicles at the port city. The traffic density in the city of Yokohama is now a manageable courtesy of marine transportation (Hensel & Turko 2015). The transportation has got a traffic control system that controls the traffic in the waters and hence avoiding unnecessary congestion in the port city of Yokohama.

The city has got numerous busy streets. An example of Commercial Street in Yokohama is the Rokkakubashi. This street has got a shop, stores, as well as a mall. People move from various parts of Japan to the city in search of employment opportunities bearing in mind that it is a commercial hub. Hence, having it in mind that Yokohama provided employment opportunities to the people as well as the right business environment, has led to urbanization. People are moving from the interior areas of Japan to Yokohama to in search of green pasture. The maritime transportation systems enable people to transport their goods into and out of Yokohama efficiently. Through the marine transportation system, people can participate in various cultural and entertainment events at the Yokohama city. The maritime transportation system, in other words, has led to the movement of people from rural areas of Japan to the Yokohama port city. The more people move to the urban areas, the more it grows both economically and socially. Hence, there is no doubt that the maritime transportation system has played a crucial role in the urbanization of the Yokohama port city. Therefore, bearing in mind that the maritime transportation systems have contributed to Yokohama urbanization over the last decades, there is no doubt that the same will continue. The marine transportation system has got the potential of revitalizing the Yokohama port city and turning it to both a commercial and transportation hub. The residential living areas are too expected to undergo vast transformation courtesy of the marine transportation. Adapting the new emerging technologies to the maritime transportation system will have a positive impact on the urban transformations. For instance, there is a need to monitor, control, and manage the traffic in the Yokohama port city so that the daily commercial business operations can be carried out more efficiently (Yongkun & Weihan 2015). The maritime transportations systems are making use of the traffic control technology systems and hence transforming the Yokohama port city into a modern smart city.

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In addition to the roles played by the maritime transportation system in urban transformation, it has also had a substantive impact on reshaping the structure in the Yokohama port city. Other transportation sectors have improved courtesy of the maritime transportations system. For instance, railway and air transport in Kanagawa has boomed. These two transportation systems act as high-speed transportation modes in Kanagawa, which, together with the maritime transportation systems, have reshaped the shipping in the Yokohama port city. Kanagawa’s prefecture has made it more appealing as well as attractive to international companies. Several corporations and companies are setting up offices in the Kanagawa prefecture and thus reshaping the area into a commercial space. The Yokohama city has undergone rapid transformation in the past three decades. It has been redesigned and rebuilt into a new, more appealing city with spectacular views. The maritime transportation system, has, for example, turned the Yokohama port city into a waterfront. The marine transportation system has transformed the Yokohama city into an international trading centre (Suzuki, Cervero & Iuchi 2013). Goods can now be shipped into and out of Japan via the Yokohama port city. There are anticipations that the marine transportation system will continue to boost Japan’s international/foreign trade in the future.


In conclusion, Yokohama marine transportation has indeed led to urban transformation as well as contributed towards the reshaping of the Yokohama port city structures. The Yokohama city previously struggled with congestion, whereby there were poor roads, railways, and air infrastructure that caused both human and traffic congestion. The marine transportation systems have reduced the congestion in the city. Several people use it as a means of transportation, thus decongesting the vehicle and non-vehicle congestion on roads. The marine transportation has also transformed the Yokohama port city into a commercial hub. Goods are quickly shipped to and out of Yokohama city. Yokohama before had an unhealthy environment for conducting business. However, marine transportation, together with the Kanagawa prefecture, has attracted companies across the globe to open business offices in Yokohama, and consequently, transforming the city into an international commercial/business hub. Hence, marine transportation still has the potential to continue changing urbanization and reshape the Yokohama port city structures now and even in the future.


Ducruet, C. and Notteboom, T., 2012. The worldwide maritime network of container shipping: spatial structure and regional dynamics. Global networks12(3), pp.395-423.

Hensel, M.U. and Turko, J.P., 2015. Grounds and envelopes: reshaping architecture and the built environment. Routledge.

Hui, E.C., Li, X., Chen, T. and Lang, W., 2018. Deciphering the spatial structure of China’s megacity region: A new bay area—The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the making. Cities.

Suzuki, H., Cervero, R. and Iuchi, K., 2013. Transforming cities with transit: Transit and land-use integration for sustainable urban development. The World Bank.

Yongkun, G. and Weihan, C., 2015. A Study on Economic Structure Power of Japan in East Asia. Japan Studies, (3), p.5.

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