Supporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"
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5. District Planning

 District Planning was institutionalized by amendment of City Planning law and Building Standard Law in 1980. Its aim is to improve and conserve the living environment by making specific plans suited to actual condition of land use, public facilities and buildings of each district. For example, in districts with new public facilities such as roads and parks created by land readjustment, or with large scale development, a district plan can assure that building use and configuration will complement that new conditions. For example, it can regulate construction of super markets and warehouses next door to residences, set minimum lot size for future subdivisions, regulate building wall position, and encourage use of hedges rather than lot line fences in order to form a comfortable row of stores and houses on a street. In districts where sprawl proceeds, District Planning can be used to prevent environmental destruction caused by incomplete public facilities and densely built-up buildings. This enables to proceed wellplanned machizukuri by guiding development and construction. In this way District Planning reflects different goals in various districts, and can serve new communities, can promote positive planning positively, or can help conserve the present environment.

Composition of District Planning:

 District Planning consists of "Policy of District Planning" and "District Improvement Planning". "Policy of District Planning" defines the goals of the Plan and the policy of improvement, development, or conservation. "District Improvement Planning" defines detailed plan that can implement the policies of the District Plan. "District Improvement Planning" decides necessary issues mainly among the following three categories.

Rehabilitation and District Planning:

 After the earthquake, District Planning is designated mainly in areas with intense planning such as land readjustment project districts. The first designated area was the downtown area of Sannomiya, designated on April 28, 1995.
 District Planning lays down various rules according to its goal and measures as described later. These rules enable the guidance of better living environment as well as rebuilding in difficult situations, such as very small building lots using "Townscape promoting district planning." The northern district of Noda, for example, used district planning to ease the regulation of floorarea ratio and setbacks. It also used the "inner row houses system" to easing the maximum lot coverage from 0.6 to 0.7. This adjusted regulations that would have prevented rebuilding in this dense inner city district.

Streetscape Promoting District Planning:

 This system was developed in 1996, as part of the effort to ease regulations that made rebuilding difficult. Its features are:

Kobe City Inner RowHousing Urban Area Improvement Guidance System:

 This system eases several restrictions under the Building Standards Act for purposes of rebuilding when the permitted lot coverage, required set-backs, height limit and the like under the Act would result in less building space than had existed in the lowrise dwelling areas. It determines height of a building, wall surface line (is this setback?), site access, etc. by building agreement in areas of about 500m2 or over (does this mean agreements between building owners?) or by area plans in areas of over 2000m2. Though the minimum size for application varies, application of this system makes it possible to remove the following restrictions.
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