This study focuses on an urban community and on individual lifestyles drawn from Ernest Callenbach’s concepts in his novel Ecotopia regarding what defines a sustainable society (Capra 1995; Callenbach 1995) and how the quality of urban ecology can be improved (Callenbach 2004). Many of his holistic ideas introduced in 1974 about sustainable policies, technologies, social systems, and ecological ways of living have become reality; we can find many Ecotopian ideas put into practice in cities and regions around the world (windmill power stations, photovol­taic power generation, organic recycle systems, and so on). Eisaku Tsuruta, who translated Callenbach’s works into Japanese, points out that the major characteristic of Callenbach’s thoughts is to propose a practical vision that people can take into action (Capra 1995; Callenbach 1995; Tsuruta 1995). Many readers and critics have focused on Callenbach’s ideas of a nation in which nature-friendly practices are accomplished through the application of science and technology. This study focuses on the importance of people’s feeling a sense of living in a “home place.” The first half of this chapter examines two key concepts of Ecotopian principles, “home place” and “stable state” and discusses two major criticisms leveled against Ecotopia. The second half considers whether certain Ecotopian concepts are appli­cable to real urban life in Japan through a case study of a citizen movement to stop the local government’s City Planning Agency plan to replace a small municipal park, the Motomachi Park in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, by a high-rise building.

Updated: October 1, 2015 — 3:51 pm