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3. Black Zone, Gray Zone and White Zone

〈article 456)〉

Concept of black zone,gray zone and white zone
 In Kobe City, as a result of the zoning on the basis of the Shinsai Fukko Kinkyu Seibi Jorei, each district is designated as a "black", "gray" or "white" zone depending upon the degree of public agency participation and regulation in the district. An area with changes in land patterns and land use with large government support, such as a land readjustment project, an urban redevelopment project and a district planning project, was designated as a "black zone" (corresponding to approximately 3% of the afflicted urban area). An area in the priority rehabilitation promotion district excluding the city planning project district is designated as the "gray zone". The other area included in the rehabilitation promotion district where the rehabilitation was left to efforts of the residents is designated as the "white zone".
 In the black zone, some sort of statutory project is to be effected. In Ashiya and Amagasaki cities, districts covered by a residential area improvement project as well as a city planning project are also regarded as the black zone.
 In these project districts, the rebuilding was stopped, and there remained a large number of vacant lots and temporary buildings even two years after the earthquake. Particularly in the west part of the urban area of Kobe City including many black zones, the rebuilding was delayed as compared with the east part including many white zones. The project planning was not finalized until two years after the earthquake in the land readjustment project districts. Finally, the rebuilding gradually started in areas where temporary replotting (the final replotting will be determined at the end of the project) was designated, for example, in Takatori Higashi first district (article25),28)). In the black zones, the rebuilding of individual houses and buildings is delayed. The advantage is that needed longer-term planning, with residents participating, could occur.
 In the gray zones, public programs for supporting improvement and reconstruction of the residential environment, such as an urban residential area comprehensive improvement project (Jushiso) and a densely built-up area improvement project (Mitsujujigyo), were to be effected. The cities other than Kobe include few gray zones because the districts for the city-planning project substantially correspond to the Jushiso and Mitsujujigyo districts in these cities. These programs are not based on a law but are voluntary projects, which cannot obtain public funding and public aid without cooperative efforts of the residents. Therefore, not a few people regard the gray zones essentially the same as the white zones.
 In the white zones, which occupy 80 to 90% of the afflicted urban area, public support, such as the application of the city planning project and public programs for improving the residential environment, is not provided. As compared with the black zones and the gray zones, the white zones lack administrative support, and the rebuilding is left to the efforts of the residents. Most of the afflicted area, particularly the residential area in the east part of the afflicted area (the east part of Kobe city, and Ashiya and Nishinomiya cities), is in the white zone, where the rehabilitation is basically left to the efforts of the sufferers.
 Two and a half years after the occurrence of the earthquake, most of the reconstructible buildings had been rebuilt in the white zones, and the number of applications of building confirmation has decreased. But the urban area is still dotted with housing sites remaining as vacant lots. In some cases, the rebuilding is delayed due to the various problems: problems of physical conditions, for example, the housing site is too small or has no road access; economic problems such as difficulty obtaining financing; and legal problems such as complexities in rights of land and building, or matters of complicated inheritance conditions.
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