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Reconstruction machizukuri and negotiating safety in post-3.11 community recovery in Yamamoto

In 2011, the 3.11 triple disaster of The Great East Japan Earthquake, the ensuing tsunami and the nuclear accident shook both the built and social environments of local communities in Tōhoku, Japan. To support successful community recovery, local participation has been implemented in many localities in the form of machizukuri, or bottom-up resident participation in place governance and community building. However, massive building projects have delayed reconstruction and social recovery is still ongoing. This research argues that community recovery may be further delayed because of renegotiation of spatial and social safety triggered by reconstruction policies. Based on ethnographic data collected during eight months of fieldwork in the tsunami-stricken town of Yamamoto, this research analyzes machizukuri groups as collective actors who are constructing place-frames characterized by insecurity and the redefinition of the social and geographical borders of a post-disaster community.


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Contemporary Japan


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