Summer has arrived! The rainy season has passed, and temperatures have soared up in cities throughout Japan. These extreme temperatures, combined with high humidity, bring with them dangers such as heat strokes. As the heat continues over the next few weeks, we hope everyone remembers to stay hydrated and well!
Many projects and programs are making strides at our MakiBiz office. We are excited to begin supporting the eight businesses that were carefully selected through the RFP program, and these will be moving forward quickly over the coming months. In Kamaishi, an insightful community engagement workshop was recently held for the Kamaishi Park for All project, and the design continues to be refined with community input. Additionally, we have been providing consultation services as always, and round two of business seminars have been taking place at MakiBiz. Find out more below.
High temperatures will continue over the following weeks. Please take care of your health.
Architecture for Humanity
*As always, we hope you enjoy seeing where your support has taken this program, and our doors are always open for feedback.
The application period for MakiBiz's Request for Proposal (supporting the rebuilding of affected small businesses and entrepreneurs) has ended, and after careful consideration, eight businesses were chosen out of nearly 40 applications received from the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. MakiBiz will continue supporting these businesses, and projects will kick off shortly! Look forward to updates to follow.
On July 10, a community design workshop was held with nearly 50 local participants. Preliminary designs were presented with drawings and models, and participants were encouraged to provide feedback for design refinement. Read what the community came up with in the report here.
On June 28th, the installation of a fence in the back yard of the community house was completed. Boards were fitted on both sides of the fence, and a door was also installed. Now children can play without the danger of falling. Full report here.
MAKOTO Business Seminars
The second round of MAKOTO Business Seminars has kicked off at MakiBiz, with two seminars held to date. Mr. Tomohiro Takei is again, leading these seminars with the first two held on how to create a business plan. Four seminars remain in this series, all held in the evenings at our MakiBiz office free of charge. See this flyer (in Japanese only) to find out how to sign up. Reports on these seminars to come.
May began with Golden Week, a collection of four national holidays spanning over a week. This long holiday is one of the busiest holiday seasons with many taking the opportunity to travel around Japan and abroad. With the passing of this long holiday, people are now back to their normal routines.
At MakiBiz, a number of events have been held in the past month, along with our regular business consultations. The Park for All project is moving forward, MakiBiz staff have participated and given a number of seminars and events, and we have launched a Request for Proposal to support small businesses. See below for news, project updates, and opportunities! As we approach summer, temperatures are warming and becoming more comfortable.
We hope you enjoy this warming weather!
Architecture for Humanity
MakiBiz Request for Proposal
MakiBiz has issued a Request for Proposal. This program will support the rebuilding of small businesses and entrepreneurs who were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. If you are, or know of anyone in need of a construction grant to rebuild their business in Tohoku, please encourage them to apply. Details (Japanese) can be found on the MakiBiz facebook page and on this flyer.
On the weekend of April 6-7, MakiBiz staff participated in a symposium on rebuilding titled, "Miyagi Rebuilding Voice Earthquake Disaster Rebuilding Symposium 2013: Thinking Support and Collaboration from Local Rebuilding - The voice of Kitakami, Ishinomaki." 14 organizations and individuals (including Architecture for Humanity) participated by presenting their rebuilding activities, which was followed by a round table discussion raising issues and concerns on rebuilding. This event provided a platform for people to exchange honest opinions and thoughts around the subject.
KYSIN-no-kai released a vision package for Park for All in the recovering village of Kamaishi. With a different site due to issues with the previous location, the Park for All will now accompany a cluster of temporary houses and a large temporary school in a valley away from the sea. Check out the new sketches here.
People who lost their homes will be required to move out of their government subsidized temporary housing units and into permanent housing in the near future. Addressing concerns and considerations people will when looking at housing options, a series of five seminars were held over the past month and a half. Lead by our design fellow, Akinobu, these seminars were held free and open to the public at our MakiBiz office. Look forward to a more detailed report to come!
Build Back Better Tohoku 2 year anniversary report
By Yuko Okamura | Design Fellow
Architecture for Humanity is collaborating with local design and construction professionals to reconstruct the northern Japan region where the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11, 2011. Any community would have been devastated by such a disaster – Japan was better prepared than most. However, it is in the event of disaster that communities need assistance in rebuilding. Through our network of local design and construction professionals we are providing technical expertise to help build back better Tohoku.
As the first year response, we started our program by listening. We enlisted design fellows from Tohoku to ask the locals directly what they needed. By listening to them and reacting swiftly to their needs, we built trusting relationships with communities. This was a very important step for us as a foreign NPO (Non-Profit Organization) before discussion of rebuilding could begin. Programs such as Honyaquake and Road Home were our responses to immediate needs.
We have completed 11 in the 2 years that have past since the disaster, and currently have several more in design or under development. The following is the list of reconstruction projects that we have been working on. There were many bumps on our way, from typical bureaucratic issues to post-disaster stress within some communities, but our goal has always been the same: to rebuild sustainable communities and economies in Tohoku.
Although this was an earthquake of unprecedented magnitude, it was certainly not the first time Tohoku suffered from a tsunami. Their resiliency will help the reconstruction of the region. Architecture for Humanity is honored to be able to support such an endeavor, and would like to continue working alongside the community every step of the way.
In the same way that one acupuncture needle can influence the overall health of a body, we believe a single key project can work to create a positive ripple effect to aid the entire affected community in its recovery process.
Our focus lies on three branches of community reconstruction (access to sports, education and welfare, and economic development).
Access to Sports
Providing access to sports through the built environment is of strong initial importance in the recovery process, as it aids in rebuilding ties between individuals and promotes physical and mental health.
Education and Welfare
As children and elderly are vulnerable portions of the population, there is a need to reconstruct spaces for children to learn and play, and elderly to socialize and obtain the resources they require in every day life.
A number of financial lifelines - engines that allow communities to become self-reliant, were devastated by the tsunami. Helping local businesses recover, open, create jobs, and collectively provide a financial future is essential in building back better.
Ohya Green Sports Park Kesennuma, Miyagi completion date: 2012.04 a sports park donated by coach Nofu to children who lost their play space due to the tsunami.
Shizugawa Judo Juku Shizugawa, Minamisanrikucho, Miyagi completion date: 2011.12 a temporary local judo center for elementary, junior high, and high school students that has trained 2 prefectural champions
Maeami-hama Community House Maeami-hama, Miyagi completion date: 2013.02 a community house designed using an innovative building technique, in a town where only five out of forty houses survived
Paper Crane Sculpture Sendai, Miyagi completion date: 2012.01 2,000,000 cranes folded by students from 38 countries were sent to their Japanese peers and assembled into a large sculpture
Akahama Covered Alley Otsuchi-cho, Kamihei-gun, Iwate completion date: 2012.07 a covered alley connecting the lower and upper units of a temporary housing complex, encourages resident interaction
Kitakami Community House Kitakami, Ishinomaki, Miyagi completion date: 2012.12 a place for residents to shop for fresh produce, and a safe place for mothers to work while they watch their children play after school
Hikado Market Place Motoyoshi, Kesennuma, Miyagi completion date: 2011.06 a covered wooden deck made of salvaged timber from the tsunami, where community members gather to enjoy food and drinks
Oshika House Ayukawahama, Ishinomaki, Miyagi completion date: 2012.07 a space for the women's group of Oshika Peninsula Fishing Union to contribute to rebuilding back their village better and stronger
Shizugawa "Banya" Shizugawa, Minamisanriku-cho, Miyagi completion date: 2013.02 a workplace and warehouse ("Banya") for a group of 15 fishermen collaborating to rebuild a collective aquafarming business
MakiBiz Ishinomaki, Miyagi completion date: 2012.11 as our first regional office in Japan, MakiBiz seeks to help small businesses in Tohoku rebuild and recover
Park for All in Kamaishi Kamaishi, Iwate completion date: 2013 a park and clubhouse surrounded by the nature of Kamaishi, where children can enjoy sports activities. Built in collaboration with KYSIN-no-kai
The tsunami did not differentiate between large and small businesses. In Ishinomaki alone, we do know that a total of 1,749 SMEs were affected, resulting in the loss of 472,000 million yen in profits and the loss of 18,000 jobs. Of these, 6,024 jobs lost were in the construction sector.
MakiBiz Helps SMEs
Recovery from disaster requires a holistic approach. Disaster survivors require access to a wide range of services, including counseling, education, training, construction and design. The integration of construction services with business support services is key to the long-term economic recovery of the region. We opened our first regional office in Japan - "MakiBiz," which seeks to help small businesses in the Tohoku region rebuild and recover. MakiBiz provides design, construction, and business development referral services to the community of Ishinomaki in support of their efforts to build back better.
Your donation will help fund the following projects we haven't been able to support financially, and many others in the future.
Two years have past, but the communities still need help from donors.
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