NOBIRU SITE ANALYSIS
Mountain / New Development
Nobiru / Tona
Open plain and sea wall
drawings, photographs, sketches, diagrams: A collective work of CASS School of Architecture students year 2014/2015 and 2015/2016: Season Tse, Weronika Sokol, Sara Nabulsi, Alice Verge, Luke Miles, Nico Spina, Julian Sillem, Lion Donald 4
1. introduction 2. new town -north -Tona -nobiru -canal
3. west coast : industry 4. central plains: land use 5. east coast 6. residents view
Presenting Nobiru As a group of students visiting and surveying Nobiru, we presented our analysis to our fellow students, faculty members at Miyagi University, and other invited guests.We spoke of our findings and experiences of the site in smaller groups, along with conversations we had with loacls whilst exhibiting works we prodced throught the week. The site has been visited previously by former student groups and as a result, our body of works forms the contiunation of site analysis. The changing nature of the site means that in the space of a year there are major differences in the way in which the site has developed and is continuing to evolve. As a result, the works we have produced have a different feel and understanding of the contextand in order to explore this, we have created a document which begins to put together the site from our perspective.
Locating Nobiru Nobiru and Tohna is apart of the city of Higashimatsushima located in the Miyai Prefecture, Tohuku Region of Japan. The estimated population of Higashimatsushima is 39,689, as of June 2014. The total area of the city region is 101.86km2.
The Earthquake and Tsunami Tohuku 8.9 magnitude Earthquake Friday 11 March, 2011, 2:46pm local time, caused by Pacific Oceanic plate subducting under Eurasian continental plate, triggers Tsunami which arrives in 59 minutes to Higashimatsushima. At the time of the Tsunami, 65 percent of Higashimatsushima was flooded and over 15,000 residents were evacuated. In Higamatsushima the Nobiru Area suffered the most damage by the tsunami, killing 500 people, and causing 2000 people to migrate to Sendai. From the original population of 5000 only 2500 remain. The decreasing population has caused further problems in an area which was already under privilaged.
Government Initiative There is an overarching government plan for the reconstruction of the area, with a 40 billion yen budget. As speed is considered of vital importance, a quarter of the budget has been spent on a steel conveyor belt stretching from the mountain to the sea. This meant that heavy duty lorries could pick up the earth levelled from the mountain without improving the existing road network. This has saved an estimated two years worth of reconstruction time. With the material taken from the conveyor, the sea wall has been raised from 4 metres to 7.2 metres, and an additional two barriers have been constructed to prevent Tsunami devestation in future. Although the government are putting a lot of money into sea defences for the area, it is still considered neccessary to move residential areas to higher ground. In Higamatsushima there are seven relocation sites in all, and they need to be higher density than the current residential areas to accomodate the smaller sites. The government has bought the mountain in Nobiru, and have levelled it to make space for the main relocation area. The government in Japan does not have a tradition of town planning, and little thought has been given to the character of the new spaces they will create. The only planning restrictions currently in place are the height restrictions and preference for putched roofs which are in deference to the natural beauty of the area. Before the Tsunami, Matsushima was a major tourist destination for Japan, but since the disaster only one beach has reopened.
Post-tsunami Higamatsushima has 40,000 people, 1000 of whom are living in temporary housing, and 2000 in prefecture paid rental housing after the Tsunami. 91.5 hectares of land is planned to accomodate 400450 houses, 150 council houses, and 250 government plots for self build projects. Although the government has declared certain areas of Higamatsushima unlivable, the amount of time it has taken to reach agreement (as an over 65% majority is needed to pass a vote) has meant that many locals have already repaired their houses in the two years since the Tsunami. Previously to get to Sendai the train would take approximately 2 hours. The commute has been dramatically reduced to 40 minutes when the new, relocated JR line has been completed. This could be one of the factors helping to generate industry in the area, other than the agriculture, seaweed, oyster farming, and rice production that were the principle employers before the disaster. The city also recieves a large amount of income from the self defence army of Japanâ€™s large military airbase, which has been used to fund the swimming and hot bath facitlity by yamoto station. The city has been approved as a site for the future cities initiative, which they hope will generate growth, and increase energy security for the area.
Regional connections The JR Senseki Line connects Aoba-dĹ?ri Station in Sendai to Ishinomaki Station, Ishinomaki. The line provides access to the central coast areas of Miyagi Prefecture, significantly the Matsushima area. Parts of the line were extensively damaged by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Service was restored on the majority of the line by March 2012, the Takagimachi Rikuzen-Ono section was returned to service on 30 May 2015. Train Times: JR Senseki Line (bound for Ishinomaki) express train: 40min. / normal train: 60min.
Regional connections Between 2002 and 2010 the images show a developed urban environment with well used farmland sites, particularly woodland. 2011 shows an image of the area post tsunami, with the devastation to the land clearly visible as swathes of land are covered by water. Since 2011 the water has begun to be drained away by the government and some of the land reclaimed, the ongoing infrastructure projects are in progress and can be seen in the 2013 map.
Nobiru Before the Tsunami
Nobiru After the Tsunami
West Higashimatsushima Higashimatsushima
West West Higashimatsushima Higashimatsushima West Higashimatsushima
Gold relocatioN area red hoUSiNG SettleMeNt deMolitioN area Grey tSUNaMi Flood area daSh
deStroyed Jr SeNSeKi liNe
Jr SeNSeKi liNe
Gold relocatioN area Relocation red hoUSiNG SettleMeNt deMolitioN Housing Settlement Demolitionarea Area Grey tSUNaMi Flood area Tsunami Flood Area
deStroyed Jr SeNSeKi Destroyed JR Senseki Line
JrSenseki SeNSeKi JR LineliNe
JR JrStation StatioN
government relocation plan
the hill resettlement The proposed masterplan for the relocation of residents is currently underconstuction. The station of Nobiru and Tona on the JR Senseki line, opened in 2015. Elements of the old town will remain, yet the government is keen to relocate the majority of the town up hill. The masterplan suggests a lack of consideration and integration with the old town of Tona and Nobiru. The future of the land surrounding the Canal is left unsure, with a mix of private tenure and government purchased land.
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TRANSPORTATION New JR Senseki Train line Old Train line
Main Roads / Improved
Existing Road Network Road Underconstruction
Urban Fabric / Land Ownership Rebuilt Destroyed Derelict Proposed or Underconstruction
Government compulsary purchased land
BUILDING USE 2015
Commerce / Business
Proposed / Underconstruction
TYRE CLEANING / REMOVAL / REDISTRIBUTION
Hotel Kanpo no Yado / oyster restaurant / school / gym
agricultural farming / rice
Fishing: Tona Harbour and Miyato Island distributing fish to Ishnomaki Fish Market + oyster farming
Industries existing in Nobiru pre tsunami 2011
FLOWER MARKET / AGRICULTURE - small scale
SOLAR FARM - PREVIOUSLY A SPORT COMPLEX
Construction Work: Archite
ects, builders, surveyors
Oyster Farming: Oyster Fishing (male) and Oyster Cleaning (women) at
three restaurants, shop, bakery, fire station, surgery
Industries existing in Nobiru IN 2015
Excavated mountain rocks
Redistributed mountain surface
VEGETATION Woodland Woodland
Excavated Mountain Rocks
Excavated mountain rocks
Redistributed Mountain Surface
Redistributed mountain surface
mountain location map
mountain cut Post-Tsunami the government formed plans to relocate people to the mountains. Here 450 houses are under construction. Prior to this, the mountain was levelled and the earth from this process was then sent via the conveyor belt, to build the heightened seawall south of the mountain.
new infrastructure Left, shows construction site and concrete bridges being built in 2014. Above right, shows the completed bridges in 2015.
New development access joins existing road
Existing road with new bridge infrastructure to support road and rail links
Old Nobiru station
Shrine Old Tona Station
Conveyor belt access
Tree Dragon by Kobayashi
New access road running through mountains
New Nobiru station New School
New Tona station
new infrastructure Left, shows construction site and concrete bridges being built in 2014. Above right, shows the completed bridges in 2015.
site materiality Quite industrial- construction work going on, new infrastructure including rail and concrete bridges, mountain edges have been reinforced with concrete
Annual post-tsunami festival
Portable foot spa by
Mr. Hachimaru Founder of the Working horse Association. We have met him at the annual post tsunami festival. He told us that many organisations such as Naturist are trying to create new way of solving posttsunami social implications. The festival is being held for 3rd time and its purpose is to gather people together. People usually come from naighbouring towns - Iwaki Prefecture for example. Horses are being seen and a solution for the current problemsmany people moved out from Nobiru due to no place to live, no job opportunities and lack of transportation. Such gatherings start the conversations- people from different backgrounds talk through the new ideas for the Nobiru. The givernment is being criticised for not making an effort to hear the people and satisfy theit needs. The is no communicaton, this they need to find a new way of working, not relying on the government, but getting ideas from individuals.
Mr. Kawaguchi He is working for the charity organisation HOPE concerned with post-tsunami coastal villages like Nobiru. They organise various initiatives like the portable foot spa.He identified some problems that Nobiru is facing at the moment. - Many people are commuting to Sendai and Ishinomako for jobs. - Job problem: majority of people working in construction sites - Pre-tsunami it was a good opportunity for farmers - Many busness moved out - Budget from government spent on landscaping - Many people moved out and scarred by tsunami - People try to recreate community, need social spaces - They still have not decided what to do with the canal - The old Nobiru Station will be retained and become a memorial place/ learning point about the tsunami - No houses will be allowed to build in the red zone, the reclaimed land will be used for agriculture.
flower market Although the waters of the tsunami stopped short of the greenhouses, the resulting loss of power knocked out a machine to pump water from a well. The temperature also dropped to nearly below zero at the time. Employees at the greenhouses tended to the seedlings, watering them by hand for two weeks and getting them through the difficult time. The flowers will be shipped to prefectures in the Tohoku region.
KOBAYASHI TREE HOUSE
We met the owner of the flower farm in the northern part of Nobiru. The farm consists of clusters of large greenhouses and in each greenhouse there were many different species of pot plants neatly arranged in the space. The owner was very busy transporting materials around the site and we only saw one more worker watering the plants. We talked to him to gain more understanding of his business and life in this part of the town. Due to the language barrier we could not understand much.
mikkiko Momma and kazumi atumi Forest Foundation uses Kobayashi Tree house as a cafe for local people organising events creating opportunity for local people to meet and enjoy meal together. Even though it was raining that day there were a few families cooking together and talking.They have offered us coffee, hot chocolate, pancakes and grilled marshmallows. We prepared some questions and asked, one of the organisers of the event. -Where are you from? A town called Ono, which is not very far from here. -What do you think is lacking in Nobiru? Need more community space for activity and coversation. -Do you think people will move back to Nobiru? There is no job. Many people left to Sendai. - What job do you think is needed in Nobiru? Farming, fishing, oyster farming and tourism.
jorinji temple The Buddhism temple and a graveyard with a very long historical background. Monkâ€™s family is currently living there.
WOODS INITIATIVE Ever since the massive Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, and the catastrophic tsunami it triggered, badly hit villages, towns and cities in the Tohoku region of northeastern Honshu have been struggling to recover and rebuild. The going is slow and many people are losing hope. Some feel that the rest of Japan has forgotten them; many have lost any belief in a better future; and even more no longer have any trust in the government. Despite this, others are fighting and struggling. They need support — not just funding, but human support. They need to be able to trust and believe in projects that are actually happening.
SCHOOL In order to relocate the school field experts carried out environmental surveys of the area. These revealed not only at least 11 endangered species there, but also clear evidence that millennia ago people of the Jomon culture (circa 8000 B.C. to 300 B.C.) inhabited the area. There were also old trails along which horses were once used to drag out quarried stone for building, and it was clear that the valleys, now densely wooded, had been terraced for rice paddies, with ponds dug to store water. Over the decades nearly all of this had becomedenselyovergrown.Ithasbeenadvicedthatwithsomehardworkcuttingback brush,selectivelytrimmingouttreesandcleaningandrestoringstreams,theareawould become rich in biodiversity. C.WNicoltogetherwithlocalchildrenandadults,andvolunteersstartedclearingouttangledbrushtoletsomelightreachthewoodlandfloor.Selectivetrimmingoftreesalso allowedthepassageofgentlebreezes.After18months,orchids,dogtoothviolets,anemones,monk’shoodandmanyotherflowershavegrown.Weseedragonfliesandbutterflies. Peoplehavesharedgreatmealsandtalksaroundcampfires.Theylearnalotfromeach other.Grandparentsaretalkingtograndchildren,tellingthemoftheirownchildhoodsand teaching them so many thingsthatwerebeingforgotten.Justbeingtogetherinwoodlands with streams stimulates this. Meantime,therearechildrenstilllivingincramped,prefabricatedemergency-reliefbuildingsandstudyinginthesortofunattractivetemporarybuildingsusedonconstruction sites.Manyofthesechildrenaretraumatized.Theyneednaturalbeautyaroundthem— andtheyreally,urgentlyneedhomesandschoolsthatwillhelpfosterinthemabelief in the future. C.W Nicol: ‘The children, from 3-year-olds to high school students, love our woodland programs (...) But still we wanted something more: a visible base, a special happy place before we’re allowed to get going on the new school buildings.
TREE HOUSE INITIATIVE John Gathright’s research on the effects on humans of climbing trees, says that at a height of between 4 and 6 meters in a tree, children feel very safe, calm and confident. Above that height, the adrenaline kicks in. There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating that children need to spend time in nature as they grow. Kobayashi and his crew of volunteer carpenters and log-builders have completed a tree house project in Nobiru. Some of the children helped to plaster the walls of the groundfloor Hobbit Room. The theme of this tree house is a dragon. It winds up a steep wooded slope, enveloping a sycamore and a mountain cherry tree as it goes. At the base, that little room — which can fit about 10 big people or 15 small ones — has a fireplace chiseled out of the bedrock and a roof that’s a strong, insulated, earth- and plant-covered deck. Then a winding stair goes to another deck, rather like the forecastle of a ship, while another winding stair goes to the head of the dragon, which is a small enclosed room with round stained-glass windows. Woods can be used as classroom, and the tree house as place of escape and relaxation for those children who really need it, or who need advice, guidance or just a little storytellingawayfromthecrowds.Thechildren,andtheirgrandparentsandparents,canhavethis place as a starting point for a more confident outlook on the future. C.W Nicol for Japan Times
TAKASHI KOBAYASHI TREE HOUSE People living i Nobiru need support â€” not just funding, but human support. They need to be able to trust and believe in projects that are actually happening.
Oyster Process Plant
Bakery Tona Station
Restaurant Former Architect Office/ Former Salon/ Tyres Storage Former Tona Station Surgery
Restaurant Tools Shop
Temporary Former Elementary School/ Temporary Community Centre/ Fire Station/ Post Office Vintage Shop
Former Nobiru Station/ Convenient Store/ Visitor Information Centre
MAPPING THE OLD TOWN - TONA & NOBIRU
tona town The north-west Tona Town was less affected by the tsunami because it was naturally protected by the cliff. Reconstruction happened quicker comparing to Nobiru town. There are more elderly people in town and hardly saw any young residents. Some people living closer to the sea before Tsunami moved here and built new houses. Also we could observed construction works going on there. It is a good point in between new development and Nobiru town. However, it lacks social space for communal activities. Since there are not many shops around, most households owe a car. There are pre-tsunami signs pointing to businesses that have closed down or moved out after the tsunami.
HIRAJI FAMILY The Hiraji couple live in a traditional two storey Japanese house. In the living room the walls were covered by photos of their grandchildren and their drawings. They were very welcoming and offered us homegrown kaki (persimmon) and local fresh oysters. They also gave us some sundried kaki and sake (Japanese rice wine). Mr. Hiraji told us after the tsunami hit Nobiru, there were more than 300 refugees stayed at Buddhist Teirin Temple for shelter. One family is living there now and frequently organise gathering events for worshipers.
SETSURO SUGAWARA He has invited us for a cup of tea and sweet mochi (traditional Japanese rice cake). His house is located in a close proximity to Hiraji Family, nicely designed with solar panels on the roof. We have been sitting in his living room, chatting in english and explaining the purpose of our visit in Nobiru. Setsuro actively participates in post-tsunami regeneration meetings and is a chosen representative to attend government meetings. He has rebuilt his house after tsunami on the north of the canal - for safety, yet he is not planning to relocate to the hills development.
tona town overview From left: Pre-tsunami signs pointing into non existing directions; some businesses have moved out from the town; local goods- sun dried kaki (persimmon)
nobiru town Nobiru town was affected significantly by tsunami. Even 4 years after Tsunami there is a significant number of destroyed houses in the neighbourhood- a constant remainder of the tragedy. Many people moved out to Sendai, some are slowly rebuilding their own houses, others stay in temporary housing waiting for the hill development to be completed.
abandoned houses destroyed by tsunami Should be removed in order to allow city to develop without a constant remainder of the tsunami and its effects. Moreover, they prove to be unsafe - can collapse and the access is not protected.
NOBIRU OVERVIEW From left: Oyster restaurant serving fresh oysters and noodles; Temporary housing / construction workers housing ; Old Nobiru Station
CANAL The canal (running east to west through he site) creates a physical boundary however the colours and types the plants transition is gradual over the imposes edge it creates. Pre tsunami houses were on the south side of the canal as well as the north, post tsunami the south edge of the canal houses no house just the remnants of what once stood. Current work on the canal is happening towards the eastern exit with the inlet to the sea. A new road bridge is being made in which the canal has been drained and a temporary Dam is in place. Work is going into the side of the canal with steel enforcements being put in. In certain areas the canal is being drained and dredged, the dredged material is being place on the side of the canal to created a bank on the southern side.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT The canal was constructed as part of a wider policy involving a new â€˜Nobiru portâ€™ intended to protect and encourage the growth of special local products and to develop a modern transportation system consistent with the needs of industry in general.
Tona and Nobiru are connected by a number of briges, the most promemant on the western edge, is connected to the canal floodgates.
Western Bridge at the end of the canal.
Materiality in the area. Drawing: Alice Verge and weronika sokol
WEST COAST : INDUSTRY
VARIATIONS IN GROUND DRAINAGE This area was entirely washed over and its inhabitants have been almost entirely re-located. The fishing and oyster industry was the quickest sector of activity to re-set in the wake of the tsunami - the oyster port is now fully functioning and one or two houses have been rebuilt along the road. The ground level here is low to the sea level and flood water stayed longer remaining in large patches giving this landscape a particular character of wild ponds filled with birds crossed and situated by narrow pathways and slightly raised landings
walk to oyster farm This area is a strong view towards post-tsunami damages to the landscape. Previously densely inhabited now only a few houses remain- most of them left empty or party destroyed. On the way to Oyster farm one can see firleds of unused ground, destroyed cars waiting for the disposal, construction works and the cementary. It makes a big contrast with the beaitiful views from thw Oyster farm which has been quickly rebuilt and now is the main industrial part of the Nobiru.
materiality of the area. On the left: An axonometric drawing of the Oyster farm: from one side enclosed by mountains and trees, on the other open towards the water. The business is developing and at the time of our visit many local people were working there - harvesting oysters, cleaning and preparing, cooking, packing.
oyster farm overview
Landscape collage Water and slowly reviving agriculture, fishing and oyster farming.
360 degrees panaroma
Central Plains: Land Use
CONSTRUCTION WORKS / SOLAR FARM
BEFORE AND AFTER TSUNAMI
THE EAST COAST The landscape along the East Coast is made up of variations of scale and form. The history is imprinted on the landscape, signs of the 2011 Tsunami can still be notice. While the modified landscape has provided new opportunities for the natural environment to re-inhabit the area, yet it is the large infrastructure that dominates the view between the beach and the town. This area prior to the tsunami was both residential, agricultural and recreational with a Hotel, leisure facilities and sports track. However it became partially flooded immediately after the tsunami, and remained as this for 3 years. The area between the sea and the canal has now been drained and under construction to raise the land level,yet there are no formal plans for this area, apart from not being residential.
historical context Nobiru beach has been visited as a place of beauty for many years. Through out the years of change the constants of the sea and cliff edges;Nobiru Beach formerly housed a swimming pool. Located in amongst the rocks the pool was popular with tourist. Up until the tsunami the beach was enjoyed by both visitors and tourists. The most popular swimming areas, as depicted was the south end of the beach. The wildlife of the beach has also been enjoyed. The image on the left shows the community collecting winkles at low tide.
pine forest The pine forest was once a strong characteristic of Nobiru which was badly affected by the tsunami.
Remaining Pine Trees on the East Coast Peninsula
Exposed Rock Face
layers in landscape The landscape of Nobiru still shows remnants of the effects of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Identifying the layers that make up this tested landscape gives an understanding of the past and existing conditions. The sketch shows the approach from the sea as staggered and fragmented in nature.
Section looking North East
Site Sketches along the Section Walk
former â€˜kampsâ€™ hotel Kamps Hotel stands derelict in isolation, surrounded by vast fields of marshland and construction sites of excavation work. Part of the old cycle path to Nobiru town still exist, providing an insight of what area once would have been. Plans for the sale of the Hotel are in place, yet it seems the overall plan for the red zone is unsettled, stalling any potential development. On the same site there is also the existing Gymnasium.
seawall A key part of the reconstruction of Nobiru the government is rebuilding the sea defenses, 10m high and 30m wide. Dramatic changes to views either side of the wall has created a detachment between the town and the sea. One woman describing the beach as lonely and now separate from the town. For future tsunami protection there is a strategy of two sea walls, one concrete which runs parallel to the coastline and another of soil just behind. The previous earth sea wall has been heightened from 4.5m to 7.2m. The excavation work in the mountains brought soil from there to be placed along the sea front.
the beach The beach has always been a big element of Nobiru, it has been visited as a place of beauty for many years. The beach once attracted a great deal of tourism and was considered a top holiday destination and surf spot. Debris and driftwood lines the sandy beach, highlighting how nature can re-inhabit. Only a few fisherman and three surfers were seen here.
- Shopping passage: clothes, souvenirs - Food Stores - Restaurants
7. pre-tsunami nobiru
-Coast opened to public -Pine trees -Canal management -Restoration of public facilities
- Karaoke - Sports Facilities - Social: community facilities - Park & Playgrounds - Place for festivals - Vieving platforms - Cafes, Tea house
3. Bring back nature -Greenery, squares -Mountain afforestation
- Cultural Centre - School - Higher Education - Knowledge Exchange - Workshops
- Hotel - Attraction for foreigners - Open beach - Camping place - Canal management: restaurants, hotel, social - Yacht harbour - Museum
8. INFORMATION TRANSMISSION CENTRE
-Memorials -Disaster information centre
-Market -Using local products
10. HEALTHCARE -Doctor -Hospital
-Senseki line -easily accessible
12. REVIVED INDUSTRY -Fishing -Farming
14. COMMUNICATION - Place for socialising - Neighbourhoods - Traditions - Discussion
6. INCREASE IN POPULATION - More young people - Jobs