Road to Recovery Part I: Reconstruction Plan for Miyagi Prefecture

Architecture for Humanity posted last Sunday the outline of the principle policies for Miyagi Prefecture Earthquake Disaster Restoration.
Miyagi Prefecture is located in the Tôhoku region, northeast Japan. Its population has a total of 2,337,513 for a density of 320.86 /sq km. Its total area is 7,285.16 sq km (2812.816 sq mi). Miyagi Prefecture counts 10 districts and 36 Municipalities. According to The Daily Yomiuri Online, Miyagi prefecture estimates 8,068 deaths (04/21/2011).
The 2011 Tôhoku Earthquake and Tsunami caused major damage to the area. Thus, due to the widespread damage, full reconstruction of some cities and towns, the city Sendai included, is announced to be not possible. According The Telegraph, Japanese government says that new housing and industrial zones will not be completed until 2020. The newspaper adds that new anti-tsunami measures will be drawn-up to encourage better building practices, disaster planning and support for victims. The below Reconstruction Plan Preliminary Draft does not confirm officially this information, nonetheless some parts reveal similar information. I let you read this draft and will go back over it in a further post (which I am presently working on).

The Bond of Miyagi, Tohoku, Japan/ from Regeneration to Further Development
1. Purpose
  • To provide a summary of the principle policies of Miyagi Prefecture with regard to restoration following the Great Japan Earthquake.
  • To draw up a reconstruction plan based on these principle policies and link this to concrete/specific business development.
2. Outline
Fundamental Concepts
Each individual citizen as an agent for restorationWith a spirit of togetherness in Miyagi, Tohoku and Japan we aim for each citizen to realize their individual roles in the reconstruction effort and for the nation, prefecture, municipality and local organizations to come together to reconstruct and further develop the prefecture.
Not merely "restoration" but also "reconstruction"We do not aim to simply "restore" rather, we aim to develop an appropriate infrastructure through fundamental "reconstruction" in diverse areas including, agriculture forestry and fishing, commerce and industry, manufacturing, and the upgrading and placement of community facilities/disaster prevention facilities.
Forward-thinking urban planning that responds to the problems facing modern societyAs we push forward with the restoration effort, we aim to pursue forward-looking urban planning that responds to issues surrounding modern society such as population decline, falling birthrate, an aging population, environmental conservation and coexistence with nature, and the development of safe and secure local communities.
Develop a model for reconstruction after catastrophic damageBy achieving a restoration process that incorporates new ideas and initiatives, we aim in 10 years' time (2020) to have developed a model for recovery from catastrophic damage.
(2) Basic Policy/ideas
a) Timescale - 10-year plan, 2011-2020
  • restoration period (3years), Regeneration period (4 years), Development period (3 years)
b) Agents for reconstruction
  • Individual citizens to become agents for recovery, combined with a government system providing full support to private sector activities
c) Support needed
  • Human and material support from the government, other prefectures, municipalities, and the private sector
  • Large scale reconstruction contracts/projects directly implemented by the government (reducing the burden on the prefecture and afflicted municipalities)
  • Flexible and secure fiscal measures in the form of large scale government disaster recovery grants/local government grants (securing funds for the prefecture and afflicted municipalities)
  • Establishment of flexible systems that prioritize restoration of afflicted areas. Application of special legislation and specific systems that reflect the actual situation in the afflicted areas (flexible operation of regulations)
3. Matters of top priority
Life support for disaster victims
(provide temporary housing (30,000 homes), facilitate secondary evacuation, provide life support for disaster victims, support for repairing homes, etc.)
Prompt restoration of public facilities and lifeline utilities
(restore roads, ports, waterways, coastal areas, airport, railways, water and sewage systems, electricity, gas, communications)
Recovery of administrative functions in afflicted municipalities
(restore facilities, official documents and information systems; secure personnel etc.)
Waste Disposal
(remove the huge volume of waste left by the tsunami within 1 year, and dispose of this waste within 3 years)
Securing the education environment
(secure nursery, elementary, junior and high school education, ensure sufficient facilities and teaching staff, and promptly restore social education and educational facilities)
Securing insurance, medical care, and welfare
(restore facilities in afflicted areas, secure health and sanitation, support those providing relief)
Securing employment and living expenses
(secure employment and living expenses for disaster victims and employment for recent graduates)
Initial restoration of agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries
(restore agricultural land, fishing grounds and forests, and provide financial support for markets, distribution, and sales, etc.)
Restoration of commerce and industry
(provide financial support in the form of operating capital and funds for the restoration of facilities and services. Business consultation etc.)
Rebuilding a safe and secure local community
(re-examine disaster prevention schemes, restore disaster prevention facilities and services, monitor radiation, secure systems of law enforcement)
4. Restoration of coastal settlements affected by the disaster
  • The coastal towns/cities of Kesennuma, Minamisanriku, Ishinomaki, Onagawa, Higashi Matsushima, Matsuhima, Rifu, Shiogama, Tagajo, Shichigahama, Sendai, Natori, Iwanuma, Watari, Yamoto, suffered enormous damage as a result of the huge tsunami. Full restoration of these areas will not be possible.
  • Regeneration through the reformulation of a new "grand design" for cities and towns that takes a medium-long term view is a must.
  • In particular, with regards to the grand design of residential areas, agricultural regions, fishing ports, harbor areas, commercial and industrial areas, there is a need to fundamentally revise the way of thinking of local residents/cities/towns in terms of the nature of disaster prevention and industrial development etc.
  • Provision of full and long-term support for the restoration efforts of local communities from a variety of sources including the government, prefecture, other municipalities, business, and other organizations.
  • Prevent unregulated use of land, and promote new urban development by supporting the realization of a restoration plan for cities/towns that includes building restrictions, town planning, human/personnel and technological support etc.
5. Restoration of the whole prefecture
  • Damage resulting from the earthquake and tsunami has been enormous, and has greatly affected all aspects of citizens' lives.
Source: Architecture for Humanity

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