Hiroshima/ 1950-1974/ 1st Greenery Movement/ A Government-led City Planning

Greenery space within a city is indispensable to the well-being of citizens. (Nokazu Nakagoshi 1999) Hiroshima is one of the 13 urbanized cities in 1999 Japan which has a population of 1.1 million and 740 km2 of territory. The suburban areas are mainly hills, river tributaries and river planes, together with a river delta and some flatlands as a whole composition.

After the devastation of the atomic bomb in 1945, referring to Fig.1, all buildings and trees within the 2km radius from the epicentre of the bomb were burnt and most of the houses within the 3km radius collapsed, Hiroshima underwent several Greenery Movement as a continuous restoration of greenery in parallel to urban growth, eventually, it aims at an eco-city. The Movement can be understood as four phases, the pre-phase, the System-making Stage started in 1952, the System-working Stage started in 1975 and the Self-management Stage start in 1997. In this entry, the first Greenery Movement will be discussed. (Kim 2006)

Fig.1 Map showing the affected area of atomic bomb in the delta zone of Hiroshima

Soon after the bomb, Hiroshima government raised the War Damage Reconstruction Plan which included the construction of 35 parks and infrastructures, in 1946. Followed by the plan, a public greenery program of producing tree seedlings was set up in the municipal seedlings fields in 1949. However, the plan was turned down due to the lack of financial resources in the prefectural government.

The first Greenery Movement was kicked off by the establishment of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Constructional Law and Plan in 1952, not only as a recovery of the devastation of the atomic bomb but also a fundamental greenery plan in the city’s social environmental management. (Nakagoshi 2006) (Kim 2006) 78 parks of 219.69 ha in total and 8 green river tracts were planned to be constructed in the city. (More information on the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Constructional Law can be viewed in Hiroshima/ Post-war Development under the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law) Due to the lack of seedlings resources in Hiroshima for the parks’ construction, the government called for tree donation in Japan with the slogan “ A Dream-Hiroshima 20 Years From Now” in 1954 and 1957. 1,300 tall trees and many shrubs were received from prefectures across Japan which increased the biomass of woodland in the prefecture and made the plan successful.

Trees were also planted along the Peace Boulevard which passes through the city centre as a park-liked green corridor from the east to west. In 1970, the first Hiroshima Basic Plan was designed.



Kim, Jae-Eun. “Recovery of greenery resources in Hiroshima City after World.” In Diversity of ecological restoration in East Asia, 111. 118: International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer, 2006.

Nakagoshi, Nobukazu and Watanabe, Sonoko, Kim, Jae-Eun. Social Capacity dor Environmental Management for Recovery of Greenery Resources in Hiroshima. Discussion Paper, Hiroshima: Graduate School of International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, 2006.

Nokazu Nakagoshi, Toshihiro Moriguchi. “Ecosystem and biodiversity conservation planning in Hiroshima City, Japan.” Journal of Environmental Sciences, 1999: 149-154.

1 Comment on “Hiroshima/ 1950-1974/ 1st Greenery Movement/ A Government-led City Planning

  1. This overview is useful but it also raises a lot of questions: who are the protagonists of these two Greenery Movements? This is more than a decade since the A-bomb — what has changed in Hiroshima since, in terms of politics, economics, progress of reconstruction, etc.?

    As you build up the research blog, I would suggest that your team concentrate on the two Greenery Movements of 1957 and 1975, since the Tange plans and the first Construction Law of 1945-1955 has already been discussed in depth by your former colleagues in previous posts. (The 1988 plan perhaps less so, since the time frame would then be too broad for a productive study.)

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