Towards a policy that supports people-centered housing recovery—learning from housing reconstruction after the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in Kobe, Japan

Elizabeth Maly, Yoshimitsu Shiozaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The goal of disaster recovery is for survivors to regain stability in their lives, livelihoods, and housing. A people-centered housing recovery requires that residents are empowered to make decisions about their housing reconstruction, and that policies create housing options that support the ability of all residents to reconstruct their homes and lives. The 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake caused the largest amount of damage in Japan since World War II, and the subsequent recovery is a starting point for understanding contemporary post-disaster housing reconstruction policies in Japan. Beyond an overview of housing reconstruction programs, we can understand the impact these policies had on Kobe residents’ housing and community recovery. In many cases, housing policies implemented after the Kobe earthquake fragmented communities and caused further damage and disruption in the lives of the survivors. A single-track approach failed to support the entire population of the disaster-stricken area. In subsequent years, Japanese disaster reconstruction laws and policies have seen modifications and improvements. Some of these changes can be seen in cases of recovery after more recent disasters, notably after the 2004 Chuetsu Earthquake in Niigata Prefecture. In the context of these past examples, we can consider what is needed for a people-centered recovery in the Tohoku area after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-65
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Science
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake
  • Kobe
  • housing policy
  • housing reconstruction
  • people-centered housing recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Safety Research
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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