Supporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"
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23)Petition - Moriminami District


Machizukuri plan of Moriminami District
 Once plans were completed, it was open to public for general inspection for two weeks. The plan is finally adopted review by city council as well as the prefecture council. During the period of general inspection by public, people whose property would be affected could present written opinions to the authorities to influence the plan's contents or implementation.
 For the Kobe City districts where the Section 84 of the Building standards law was applied, some areas undertook planning independently of the City. In the Moriminami district, 13 members of the urban planning council of Moriminami and Motoyamanakamachi made a plea to the mayor, the urban planning director and the chairman of the urban planning council with the signatures of 2,080 residents of the district.

The petition states:

 "Moriminami district where we live suffered tremendously from the earthquake disaster. More than 90% of houses had collapsed, and many people are still living in schools and assembly halls as refugees. When we were just beginning to think how to rebuild our houses and our community, our district was designated by the authority as a restricted building area for creation of the disaster-proof town. We expected this designation would benefit reconstruction of our community with a lots of help and cooperation by the city government.
 On February 22nd, the district office of Kobe City was open, and an officer of the urban planning department outlined its plan, 1) an approach is opened to the south side of the JR New Station and an open space is created in front of the station, 2) the road on the north side of Motoyama No.3 Primary School is extended to east through the open space in front of the station, connected at Ashiya with a 17 m wide street along the JR railway. He also mentioned that this plan would be finalized soon, and afterwards alteration of the plan would be impossible.
 The plan also showed all residences along the main streets built as fire-proof multi-unit apartment buildings, Inari Street, widened to 13 m and a new children's park, but these items were explained by officers as flexible and even possible to change according to further discussion with residents.
 We have several questions about this plan:
 1) Won't the creation of the new road running from east to west through the station plaza cause further traffic congestion by being used as a by-pass of No.2 Street, and destroy the residential environment with increasing exhaust gas and noise ? 2) Is it really necessary to open another main street as wide as 17 m when we already have No. 2 Street only 300 m away and also expect the breakthrough of Yamate Main Street to Ashiya sometime in future ? 3) The myth that wide streets save people from disaster was disproved by the fact that traffic jams on the main streets blocked rescue activities in many cases in this disaster. 4) Even now still many people who used to live in this district are being forced to live in shelters or in other towns. They hope to come back home but have not been informed of this rehabilitation plan. Is it right to try to finalize the plan so hastily without participation by those people?
 Mayor Sasayama pledged before the disaster that Kobe's master plan should be based on human warmth and civility, and Governor Kaihara has also proclaimed that town planning would proceeded with residents' participation and consent. Nonetheless, municipal government is just about to decide its plan with neither civility, participation nor consent.
 One and a half months have passed since the disaster. We have only begun to restore our self-possession and to think about the rehabilitation of our homes and community. Please give us a little bit more time so that as many people as possible in the district could participate in our future town planning under better conditions. We sincerely hope that our own planning will occur with the approval and support of the municipal government as its goal of "creation of disaster-proof town".
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