Supporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"
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10. Block reconstruction

〈article 12)〉

 Block reconstruction is based on the concept that housing rebuilding and environmental improvement can be achieved even on blocks where buildings cannot be rebuilt on respective building sites according to the Building Standards Act now in force, or where there are safety or environment problems even when buildings can be rebuilt.
 In a many damaged districts in the inner city area, infrastructure such as roads is inadequate, or land is too densely utilized because each block, which was formed through agricultural land readjustment, is too large and is awkwardly divided by narrow roads (alleys). In these districts, rebuilding is difficult because building sites have inadequate road contact or are too small, and rebuilding can be attained only through a joint housing project.
 Under such circumstances, housing rebuilding could be proceeded by improving the road system and by combining several sites. In an urban area where blocks are already formed, exchange and consolidation of building sites within one block is an effective way to improve the conditions for joint housing and detached houses.
 In Kobe city, a "Doro Seibi-gata Group Saiken Seido" was established for expanding and reconstructing narrow roads and improving the conditions of sites along the roads as a support measure for reconstruction, and to promote the rebuilding by residents' own efforts. This measure supports providing a road with a width of 4 m in each block through readjustment of existing alleys and private roads and exchange and consolidation of sites, so that a building site for joint housing and sites for detached houses can be provided.
 A "Anzen Shigaichi Keisei Tochi Kukaku Seiri Jigyo" applicable to land of 0.5 ha or larger was also institutionalized. In general, the exchange and consolidation of private land, even for improving the site conditions, is taxable every time the ownership of the land is changed. However, the application of this system makes the change of the ownership free of tax. This system is established for supporting the readjustment of land in a small scale, which is not only for the restoration but also for the improvement activities in the dense urban area.
 An example of such a block reconstruction type project proceeded in 1-chome and 2-chome Minatogawa. This project is in a district with an area of 1.5 ha. and includes 145 persons with some property rights. In this district, as time passes after the earthquake, the rebuilding proceeded on sites where buildings can be built by owners' own efforts, and it became difficult to reach an agreement between residents who could not rebuilt housing by their own efforts and landowners who could rebuild detached houses by themselves. Under such circumstances, understanding of the landowners capable of rebuilding was finally obtained in two blocks, so that a replotting plan for readjusting housing sites through the exchange and consolidation and producing a building site for the joint housing could be agreed. This project shows one course of machizukuri for allowing those who wish to live there to keep on living there, with the residential environment improved.
 Individual blocks include various site conditions. A building can be rebuilt on a site facing a main street or a site facing merely an alley but having a large area. However, without participation of landowners of such sites in good conditions, the block reconstruction is difficult. In a white zone, those who can rebuild their houses start rebuilding quickly, and the block gradually becomes dotted with sites having difficulties in rebuilding. In a built-up urban area, not only a large-scale improvement type machizukuri but also machizukuri for improving the residential environment in each block are important. The project in Minatogawa illustrates a difficulty in the latter machizukuri.
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