Supporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"
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9. Landscaping activities in damaged areas
Landscape improvement projects, beginning with "Let flowers bloom on rubble" in damaged areas, have been undertaken
The city, reduced in many parts to rubble in a moment, was full of vacant lots in the summer after the Earthquake. Because demolition was at public expense, not only completely or half destroyed buildings, but also some building which could have been rehabilitated were removed. In this situation, a city of desert, the activity "Let flowers bloom on rubble", was born to make the residents' hot summer season as pleasant as possible, and to improve their morale as they work to rebuild.
Seeding at site broken building
These projects began in June 1995. This activity led the specialists in landscape architecture and gardening to create the "Landscape Restoration Support Meeting" (Hanshin Green Net) one year after the Earthquake. Hanshin Green Net is composed of landscape architects, gardeners, university professors, and public agency staff. It serves as a mechanism to receive gifts of flowers or trees from all around the country and to deliver them to the sufferers. It has promoted practical activities such planting hedges and creating pocket parks in collaboration with the machizukuri organizations.
Besides Hanshin Green Net, many groups concerned with landscape were born. They include, "Hyogo Green Net" supported by Mr. Tadao Ando, an architect, and Hyogo Prefecture; and "Donguri (acorn)-Net Kobe" in collaboration with "Donguri (acorn) Bank" in Kagawa Prefecture.
Roles of greenery activities in machizukuri for restoration
The greenery activities in disaster afflicted urban area serve more than their original goal of enlivening the deserted districts with flowers and trees; it takes other efficient steps to meet the conditions brought by the disaster, and plays important roles in restoration as follows.
〈To make landscape〉
The greenery activities have added beautiful landscape to the flat and dreary scenery which is filling up with industrialized prefabricated housing after the Earthquake by providing financial and technical support.
〈To promote machizukuri activities〉
Anyone can participate in the greenery activities easily, and can agree with its purposes. It serves to create a friendly and warm atmosphere in cold and stiff communities. Many of those active in these projects are women, and it has been a good way to involve neighborhood women in improvement activities.
〈To heal and relieve the sufferers〉
After the Hanshin Great Earthquake, healing and relieving the wounded hearts of the sufferers is one of the big challenges. Flowers and trees serve to comfort the victims. Plants are often sent to temporary housing and victims by the machizukuri organizations and from volunteers' organizations. The Hyogo Green Net also created a program of planting trees of white flowers to serve as a memorial to the victims.
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