Lessons on City Planning from the Films of Studio Ghibli

Priya Singh  | 2023


The paper looks at the representation of cities in films, particularly animated films by Studio Ghibli, and the role of mobility in these representations. Highlighting the historical significance of city representation in cinema and its influence on urban discourse, the paper explores how the films by Studio Ghibli films depict cities and urban mobility. The films Whisper of the Heart, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Only Yesterday are chosen for analysis. The selected films are analysed for their urban landscapes, cultures, and the ways in which different modes of mobility are presented. The study aims to understand how images of mobility are constructed in these movies, the underlying messages conveyed through the portrayal of mobility, and the meanings attached to different modes of transportation. By examining the films’ depiction of sustainable and efficient transportation options and pedestrian-friendly urban spaces, the study seeks to provide possible insights for improving urban planning and design. The methodology involves both quantitative analyses of explicit mobility scenes and qualitative analyses of the role of mobility in the narrative. The study aims to shed light on the representation of mobility in urban settings and its implications for public attitudes and urban design.