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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Designing Urban Revitalization (open course)

Reconstruction of Matsushima seen from the on-site activity

Kaori Izumino
4th-year student at the School of Social Sciences

In this summer, through a class entitled “Designing Urban Revitalization” offered by Professor Morio Uzuki (Faculty of Social Sciences), I thought about the reconstruction of “Matsushima” in Miyagi Prefecture, which was severely damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The theme was “free creation of Matsushima’s new appeal.” As almost no students had visited Matsushima, they researched and analyzed the town in a group based on advance lectures, reports on the current situation of Matsushima and plans from the city office, then attending the summer intensive course in August.

Students who gathered in Matsushima on August 3rd, formed into four groups, began their activities to present plans on 6th. On the night of 4th, all of the students directly spoke with city officers and received answers to simple questions about Matsushima and advice to provisional plans, which led to our group’s plan to publicize “appeal of Matsushima at night”. The following day, we spent all day walking outside to develop a plan from the same perspective as those who will visit Matsushima for the first time. Such a plan included signs much easier to understand to walk around the area as well as quietness necessary for a residential area.

Despite having great difficulty in completing a plan in only two days, we could successfully present it to the city officers. The plan proposed a style of walking and street lamp designs for “Tsuki-no-Komichi” (path lit by the moon), a course for walking at night. Matsushima is one of the three most scenic spots in Japan. However, its recognition is low among youths despite easy access from Sendai Station by train in about 20 minutes. How to convey its appeal is a current issue.

This lecture only proposed Matsusima’s appeal from a new perspective. I thought it was important for today’s youths to travel every part of Japan to confirm what aspect Japan has and consider how to convey its appeal.

Scene of field research and selection of walking course “Tsuki-no-Komichi”