Planning for relocation in recovery after the Great East Japan Earthquake: Considering residential relocation in historic and international contexts

Elizabeth Maly, Eiko Ishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to consider the current situation of relocation in Japan after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) in the context of past examples and post-disaster housing relocation projects in other countries.

Design/methodology/approach – Information about international cases of post-disaster housing relocation was gathered though desk and literature review, supplemented by field visits to the sites for direct observation and interviews with people involved in the relocation projects.

Findings – To be successful, residential relocation must consider livelihood, especially in regards to location. Involvement of the residents in the planning and decision making process creates housing relocation projects that better meet residents’ needs. Japan faces some unique challenges, yet shares commonalities with other countries, for example, in tsunami-stricken fishing areas. Housing relocation in Tohoku must strive to be accountable to the needs of the residents and the specific contexts of their communities.

Originality/value – There is still a limited amount of literature in English that considers the issues of relocation in recovery after the GEJE in an international context, especially comprehensive comparisons with multiple countries. Although this paper does not deal with each international case in great detail, the comparison provides a good overview of the key issues for residents in post-disaster relocation, and suggests how lessons from international cases could be applied to the challenges that Japan currently faces in relocation planning in the Tohoku region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-259
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sep 2
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Built environment
  • Great East Japan Earthquake
  • Housing
  • Japan
  • Post disaster reconstruction
  • Post-disaster planning
  • Recovery planning
  • Relocation
  • Tohoku

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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