Evaluation of the Peace-Oriented Development of Hiroshima

In face of Tange’s design and other proposals for the urban development of Hiroshima, there are a few limitations that should be addressed.

One fact would be the similar urban layout used during the reconstruction and planning of Hiroshima, which led to a more ubiquitous urban form as with other Japanese cities. As the personnel involved in the planning process were largely the same before and after the war , the planning strategies were also very similar, and more radical propositions were unable to be realized. Although the identity of peace was realized in the Peace Memorial Park and its surroundings, other parts of the city remain homogeneous with the prototype of post-war Japanese city reconstruction. The urban grid can be easily found in other places in Japan and all over the world.

Fig.1: Aerial photo of Hiroshima (1988). Source: Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Today, Hiroshima welcomes many tourists each year, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a prominent spot for them to visit, with the Peace Memorial Ceremony held every year to commemorate the past. The development of the city is in motion: the city grid houses modern office and department blocks, an abundance of convenience stores and coffee shops, and even pockets of night life. Also a host for the Asian Games in 1994, it can be said that Hiroshima has succeeding in moving forward today.

Despite these modern accomplishments, the past of the city is not forgotten or removed. Rather, it is conserved in spirit in the centre of the city, where the Peace Memorial Park lies as both a physical and symbolic reminder of what was lost and what must not happen again.

 

Bibliography:

Hein Carola, Diefendorf Jeffry M, Yorifusa Ishida, “Reconstructing Hiroshima and Preserving the Reconstructed City”. In Rebuilding Urban Japan After 1945, 87-107. Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Learning from Hiroshima’s Reconstruction Experience: Reborn from the Ashes. Report. March 2014. https://www.pref.hiroshima.lg.jp/uploaded/attachment/164444.pdf.

McCurry, Justin. “Story of Cities #24: How Hiroshima Rose from the Ashes of Nuclear Destruction.” The Guardian. April 18, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/apr/18/story-of-cities-hiroshima-japan-nuclear-destruction.

1 Comment on “Evaluation of the Peace-Oriented Development of Hiroshima

  1. It is interesting to know the historical background and local socio-political context related to the pre and post-war urban planning thoughts. I am also intriguing the variations between pre and post-war urban morphology and position around the national-wide could be added. For example is it a military preparation area anymore?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.