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The Digital Urban Experience of a Lost City

Using Mixed Methods to Depict the Historical Street Life of Edo/Tokyo

Gamze Saygi    University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands    

Marie Yasunaga    University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands    



This paper digitally reconstructs street life in Edo (present-day Tokyo), the largest lost city of the pre-modern world. The ephemeral character of the Edo makes the historic urban experience extremely difficult to capture. We argue that the hypothetical digital reconstructions should incorporate evidence on human agency and spatial properties for a holistic simulation of historic street life. We develop a 3D hypothetical reconstruction based on multi-layered historical evidence to unlock the lost character of the Edo streets. It reveals the streets of Edo, including the rhythms of everyday life and the impact of the material culture.

Subtags: Technology Society Visualisation Analysis Modelling 3d data Image data Preservation Monuments

Dec. 10, 2021
Sept. 15, 2021
May 5, 2021

Keywords: 3D modellingUrban historyVirtual reconstructionDigital pastStreetscapeSpace-useEveryday lifePre-modern Japan

Copyright: © 2021 Gamze Saygi, Marie Yasunaga. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.