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  5. Project Management for National Land Policy and the Social Consensus Building

2010 Vol.4
Project Management for National Land Policy and the Social Consensus Building


Based on a historical investigation and practical experiences, this paper examines the basic philosophy surrounding national land policy, aiming at creating new policy design and a new system for social consensus that take into account the interests of stakeholders involved in various social issues.
With regard to the basic philosophy, public projects conducted by a learned priest of the Nara period, Bodhisattva Gyoki, are considered. His activities had an aspect of social infrastructure development in the period of recovery after the wars against the Tang dynasty and Silla in the seventh century. Indeed, his activities seem to parallel the social infrastructure development during the post-World War II recovery period that Japan promoted after seeing its war-torn land caused by the reckless war. Now that the national land policy, which has set rapid economic growth as a major objective, has destroyed the country’s rich natural environment and has weakened local communities, how should we restore our land? As someone who has had hands-on involvement in various projects, the author revisits the philosophy and actions of Gyoki, the process of which has significant implications for our thinking on our relationship with the land of the country.
Discussions on the role of civil engineering were held at the 2009 conference of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers under the title “Altruistic Civil Engineering Projects”, and the author prepared a report on Gyoki’s philosophy and actions. Based on the report, this paper attempts to offer a solution to future issues surrounding national land policy by examining the era in which Gyoki lived and his philosophy, and by discussing the process of a project on basic planning for the revitalization of towns along the Hii/Ohashi River and a project on preventing the erosion of the Miyazaki Shore, in both of which the author was involved. In short, the main argument of this paper is summarized in the term “compassionate land development”.