Living with Natural Disasters

Living with Natural Disasters
発表者/presenter’s name:〇Yuhei N a kajima 1,Eleni Mente 2
所属/Affiliation:1 Studio Kyoryu,2 Element


Natural disasters such as flooding, storm, fires, are becoming even more severe due to climate change. The need for more sustainable, regenerative design proposals in landscape architecture projects and adaptive planning is more urgent than ever before.

We visited the Aomori, Iwate, and Miyagi prefectures in Japan, which were affected by the Great Eastern Earthquake and the tsunami that hit the Tohoku area in 2011 to have a broad understanding of the post-tsunami reconstruction methods, and their impact to the coastal communities. The main management policy to post-disaster recovery was to reinforce the existing flood defense schemes. However, the Miyagi Prefecture implemented an alternative mitigation plan by using nature-based solutions to restore natural ecosystems and prevent a future flooding by creating the Great Forest Wall and disaster preventive parks such as the Millennium Hope Hills. The native forest and planting method applied based on the Prof. Akira Miyawaki’s concept of Potential Natural Vegetation of the area was examined and discussed with various participants.

The focus of our research is the Millennium Hope Hills project, part of a wider, landscape-led recovery masterplan approved by the mayor. Apart from the site visits, we interviewed key decision makers, officers from the Iwanuma City, people from non-profit organisations and the leader of the local community. Also, questionnaires were distributed, and the responses shed light on the resident’s needs and their views on the post-disaster mitigation measures.

The analysis of the data revealed that key factors such as diverse policies, land ownership difficulties, local groups decision-making power, and the distinctive topography of each area, informed the reconstruction methods among three prefectures. The results illustrate that the forest sea wall brought the community together through planting activities, created a stronger memorial landscape and that the park provides a sense of safety by densely planted forest walls. After 11 years, the forest is being established, The park is becoming community’s everyday place.

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