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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Urban Planet Weird Wednesday: Osaka’s stadium neighbourhood

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Weird Wednesdays on Urban Planet takes a look at obscure, absurd, and curious things about cities around the world.

At first glance, Stadiums tend to seem have their role as a (grey-ish) public space fairly set in stone. They’re they home to our sports teams, the venue for big acts as they come through town, and bring together various crowds in conventions and festivals. The Louisiana Superdome served another, arguably vital, purpose as a shelter for residents throughout Hurricanes George, Ivan, and most notably, Katrina.

When their resident baseball team, the Nankai Hawks, were purchased and moved to Fukuoka in 1988, the Japanese city of Osaka was left with a big hole to fill. A 31,379-seat hole to be exact. With the other Osaka teams already in their own stadiums, the centrally-located Osaka Stadium was sold to a developement company, who turned the playing field into a model home showcase.

The whole structure was eventually taken down in 1998 and over the course of the next decade, became the home of Namba Parks, a commercial complex with multi-terraced greenspaces flowing over the numerous shops and restaurants.

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  1. Reminds me of how after the fall of the Roman empire, some cities essentially moved into their stadiums and used the structure as their city walls.

  2. Or dismantled them for the stone (much like Lego buildings after a while!)