Supporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"
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16. The New Eastern City Center
The redevelopment plan of the "new eastern city center", an area of about 120 ha in Chuo ward and Nada ward.
Development plan of new eastern city center area
Most of the planned area was the large-scale industrial site owned by Kobe Steel and Kawasaki since Taisho period. They are two of the major steel manufacturers in Japan. The district is intended to be the eastern center of Kobe with business, culture and research functions when the development plan is realized. There are two existing districts regarded as the centers of the city. One is Sannomiya with facilities for administration and commerce, and the other is Harbor Land, the western center, with commercial and cultural core functions.
After the earthquake, the project of the new eastern city center, which is called HAT (Happy Active Town) Kobe, was regarded as one of the symbolic projects in the Kobe Restoration Plan. The comprehensive development, together with providing a lot of restoration public housing, has been carried out rapidly with the basic concepts of:
Creating an attractive water front space
Activating its surrounding area.
Developing a new city center
Building up a place for the global activities
In the waterfront area (about 75 ha), to the south of Hanshin expressway, new business and residential facilities are being developed first to lead the urban function to support and to promote the restoration of the disaster-afflicted area in Kobe.
In December 1995, Land Readjustment project was finalized and the development of the new waterfront residential area has begun together with the development of infrastructure. Guidelines were developed to create a new townscape and a comprehensive living environment.
Kobe City changed its original plan, developed before the earthquake. The number of residences was tripled to provide a large amount of units for the people who had lost their houses. The planned population residents increased from 10,000 to 30,000 (about 10,000 households).
Now, 3542 units of public housing are under construction. Because the ratio of the aged is very high among sufferers, accessibility features are included, such as limiting steps, handrails in bathrooms, and an emergency calling system. About 20% of new Kobe public housing are specially designed for the aged equipped with LSA (Life Support Adviser) service.
By April 1998, when the prospective occupants will move into the town, elementary and junior high schools are due to start and shops are scheduled to be open.
Besides these, the total plan includes the development of facilities for business, research and cultural purpose. For example, the International Health Development Center (scheduled to be open in spring 1998), the disaster prevention government office, the prefecture art museum, the headquarters of Kobe Steel. Private developers are also planning to build housing in the district.
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