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2016 Vol.1
Possibilities for Improving Resilience

Lessons from Past Disasters

2016/02/19

Recent years have seen the growing importance of the concept of resilience, which for a city refers to the ability to quickly recover urban functions after a disaster. In achieving such resilience, consensus building is a vital fundamental factor. In particular, it is particularly important to construct a consensus building mechanism that enables a speedy post-disaster reconstruction processes.
Unlike development activities in normal times, post-disaster redevelopment efforts involve difficult issues such as emphasis on speedy reconstruction, the absence of residents due to evacuation, and changes in agreements because of protracted preparation periods for various projects. This paper considers the process of consensus building among residents after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake, with particular focus on reconstruction plans and urban redevelopment projects.
This paper then summarizes issues associated with reconstruction processes in terms of consensus building and examines future directions. With regard to the reconstruction plans, the result shows that while opinions were meticulously gathered (especially in the case of the Great East Japan Earthquake), there were serious issues such as a lack of labor for realizing the proposed ideas and the difficulty for residents to contemplate, immediately after a disaster, a general picture of an ideal city. As for the urban redevelopment projects, major issues included delays in residents’ resettlement due to prolonged consensus building processes and the relationship and consistency between development of the city as a whole and development of individual communities. For the future, it will be important to coordinate various activities with disaster preparation efforts by various means, such as reexamining the relationship between post-disaster reconstruction plans and development plans for normal times and encouraging community-level autonomous activities in normal times in order to achieve smooth post-disaster development.

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