Supporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"
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12) Block reconstruction by small land readjustment
(Kamimae District, Nada-ku, Kobe)

Toshinobu Iwasaki,UR Urban Planning & Design Institute

"Architecture and Society" (January, 1998)

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Position of Kamimae district Basic elements of Kamimae district Condition of site Adjustment of divided roads

 The Kamimae-cho Machizukuri Organization was established in January, 1996, and started planning Machizukuri for restoration by choosing this district, which was especially damaged, as a model case for implementation of quick restoration.
 As failure to meet road contact (frontage) requirements or overcrowding of supply management facilities prevented housing reconstruction, their aim was restoration by readjusting the general infrastructure environment.
 They defined a block of about 50m × 100m as a project zone and decided to adjust supply management facilities and to secure road contact requirements for every block by adjustment and replotting (Kanchi) of divided roads based on existing private roads and public roads. They defined the width of a road as 4.5m, not from the point of view of being a minimum requirement for road contact but from the points of view of: prevention of disasters, architectural requirements and traffic convenience.
 As a block was small, they decided to adjust in the surrounding areas without securing space for a park in each block.
 By defining their project as a "Land Readjustment Project for Restoration", they could decide to readjust divided roads, supply management facilities and housing land by subsidy without depending on reserved land or contriving to raise funds.
 It was necessary for them to establish an association by January 17th, 1997 to have their project approved as a restoration project. Therefore, they had a very tight schedule - establishment of Association Establishment Organization (June, 1997), "Application for technical support to Kobe City" (July, 1997), "Application for approval about association establishment" (October, 1997), "Approval of association establishment", "Approval of project plan" (December 17th, 1997), Establishment of "Kamimae 2-chome Kita Land Readjustment Association for Restoration" (January 14th, 1998)-and this full schedule was a major factor in their decision.
 Realistic factors contributing to the realization of the project include: "to secure road contact (frontage) requirements and build a house with peace of mind", "to create a safe environment so that emergency vehicles can have access", "for Kobe City to manage life environment infrastructure facilities such as roads or water supply and drainage, etc. eliminating the need to collect Hanko or have concern over the expense" and finally "to solve the problems of land boundaries".
 Because of the lack of flexibility for replotting and because of the desire to avoid account settlement, (basically for the smooth progress of the project), the residents agreed on same place replotting (Kanchi) and a system called "Menseki-shiki Genbu System", by which some residents would sacrifice part of their land for a planned road.
 Replotting rules and temporary replotting were approved at a general meeting at the end of June, 1997 and notification of temporary replotting was begun. A cornerstone laying ceremony was performed at the end of September, 1997 and construction preparations etc. for the early completion of the project were made. Kamimae-cho Machizukuri Organization is giving counseling and support regarding housing reconstruction to elderly land owners as well as supporting housing by the people who have to move.
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