4/18/2011

News: U.S., Japan announcing joint post-crisis rebuilding effort

About a month has passed since a massive duo earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern and eastern parts of Japan. While, according to Justin McCurry in the Guardian, TEPCO revealed Sunday to elaborate a plan to end crisis within nine months, Japan is working on implementation of a Reconstruction Plan for affected areas. I will go back over the important concept of "Reconstruction Plan", or Fukkô Keikaku in Japanese, in a further post (Monday or Tuesday) that has played an essential role in the 20th Century.
CNN unveiled Sunday that the U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the Japanese foreign minister Takeaki Matsumoto announced plans for a joint reconstruction venture. The United States decided to aid Japan to honor Japan's legacy of assisting other countries in crisis.
What will this aid be about?
Post-Crisis rebuilding: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Japanese foreign minister Takeaki Matsumoto in Tokyo Sunday. credits: CNN

First, the creation of a public-private partnership for reconstruction (while Japanese government announced the same day a Reconstruction plan for Miyagi Prefecture that I will post tomorrow). Hillary Clinton said "Our two governments… have agreed to create a public-private partnership for reconstruction. (…) We wish to enhance cooperation between Japan and American businesses, between civil society groups, public officials, under the guidance of the government of Japan, with its planning."
We do not have any details on this "public-private venture" yet. However, Matt Smith in CNN continues saying the reconstruction program will be majority Japanese.
Map of the Damage From the Japanese Earthquake. © 2011 Zenrin
Originally appeared on The New York Times

Questions remain…
I will post the preliminary draft of the reconstruction plan for the Miyagi Prefecture including: city of Sendai, and towns such as Kesennuma, Minamisanriku, Ishinomaki, Onagawa, Higashi-Matsushima, Matsushima, Rifu, Shiogama, Tagajo, Shichigahama, Natori, Iwanuma, and Watari. According to Architecture for Humanity which posted Sunday a part of this reconstruction plan for the Miyagi Prefecture, These cities however will not be fully restored due to severe destruction.
A lot of questions raise: first will Japan opt for an urban planning per case rather than its one-size-fits-all urban planning that was the basis of Japan's urban planning of 20th century? If so, this will be the opportunity of creating Area Management: that is to say each area its urban policies.
Another question concerns the concept of resilience. Needless to say that Japan is a resilient country. Yet this resilience we are talking about appears to be structurally engineered. The duo Earthquake/Tsunami (and we can include the nuclear disaster) has revealed the limits of Japanese engineered resilience. A growing number of observers wonder whether Japan will shift engineered resilience into ecological resilience*. If so, can ecological resilience be a response for Japan to adapt to natural disasters in this new century of growing challenge issues — global warming included?
Then what about Fukushima area? Will people come back to their home? This question will be let unclear as longer as, first, the area is not yet under control. As Justin McCurry in the Guardian writes, TEPCO which unveiled two-stage strategy to bring Fukushima plant under control, declined to say when evacuees can return home. This can be a first response to these growing questions regarding this area. Second as impacts of this nuclear crisis on biodiverse habitats, soils, air and water of this area are unclear, it is logical to wonder how this area will be integrated in the Reconstruction Plan in the next future. Hence the question of implementing Area Management as well as Environmental Monitoring suitable for this area, that is is to say, an environmental monitoring that will include gradual terraforming of this contaminated area. Questions will surely grow up as we will get further and detailed information on U.S.-Japan collaboration and Japanese Reconstruction Plan. Consequently, the best way is: wait, see, and, then judge.

* I will go back over this concept in a next post.

Close-up
> Area Management: A self-directed effort by residents, business owners, land owners, and others in an area to achieve consistency from the start of urban planning there through its maturation and continuing development, to maintain and improve a desirable environment and value in a given area. In contras to one-size-fits-all urban planning by the government, this approach actively emphasizes the distinctive character of he area and aims to prepare for the competitive age to come in order to enhance area value. It is also a method for citizens to get directly involved in urban planning, to prevent a fall in the value of their area and to enhance it (OURS: Methods For Habitat City).

Source: CNN, The Guardian

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