Kyoto City Landscape Policy 2007 / The Persuasiveness of the District Plan (Meirin District)

District Planning is one of the major influence of the Landscape Policy. It is introduced in 1980s as an enforcement to the City Planning Act. [1] Instead of setting up regulations, the neighbour association of Meirin District provide an intermedia communication platform between the city, the community on one hand, and the construction associations, architects and owners on the other hand. [2]  As a convincing mediator, they aims to encourage people to design in an urban scale in cooperate with the urban fabric.

 

The persuasiveness of the association

The idea of the persuasiveness is a way to provide a discussion between the architect or contractor and the association. Through the meeting, they will provide extensive information in different aspects, such as historical and tradition informations of the district. This methodology encourage architects and contractors to think precisely on their decisions and also persuade them to take in account on the historical background of the site. On the other hand, to introduce the importance of preserving the history of Kyoto.[2]

 

Urban Scale

The city planning might be a problem of preventing the future developments if rules are strictly followed. The neighbour association of Meirin district chose a passive role to influence the communities on the design aspect. This, in a way, to open up more possibilities on the modern design but still encourage the appreciation of the history. The effectiveness of the policy are highly influenced by how districts response to it. Regulations set by the district are used to enhance the effectiveness and increase the awareness of the community.

 

Map of Meirin District indicating the existence of machiya, encountered by a KCCC survey between 2008 and 2010 (Source: Heritage, History and Design between East and West: A Close-up on Kyotos Urban Fabric. Delft: TU Delft, 2018)

References:

[1] Marshall, Stephen. Urban Coding and Planning. 2011 p. 125

[2] Thoor, Maria Theresia Antoinette Van, and Sara Stroux. Heritage, History and Design between East and West: A Close-up on Kyotos Urban Fabric. Delft: TU Delft, 2018 p. 40-43

2 Comments on “Kyoto City Landscape Policy 2007 / The Persuasiveness of the District Plan (Meirin District)

  1. It is fascinating that community involvement is still encouraged when it comes to urban scale development. I would like to know more about the details throughout the discussion, for instance, is there a dominant role when it comes to decision-making? How could the stakeholders compromise with each other, while their interests are contradicted? How could the mediator enhance the community with different tools, like models, workshops or illustrations?

    According to the timeframe I studied about Taipei, the Community Environment Remodeling Scheme is a self-initiated programme by the citizens, with the financial support from the government. They mostly work on the projects which are small-scale yet closely correlated to the living, for instance, striking a balance between vehicles and pedestrians and revitalizing the public space in old communities. However, even though the design scope is small, numerous conflicts of interests between stakeholders still happened due to low efficiency and miscommunication.

    Top-down city planning enhances efficiency while bottom-up city planning emphasizes on democracy and community involvement. Which method do you think works the best for your city, or actually both?

  2. I like the idea of how the policy or regulations were made to respect the history, especially Kyoto is a historical city in Japan. However, it is quite hard for us to understand how the idea, which is letting architects and contractors have the rights to do the redevelopment but need to take in account on the historical background of the site, can be carried out. As when we look at the conservation of vernacular architecture, it is quite hard for the architect to keep the balance between the historical and vernacular value and the modernity of living. It would be better for us to understand more if detailed regulations or policies can be listed in the narrative, letting us know how the idea is carried on in Japan.

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