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Participating the briefing session for creating the park by “the park enjoyment developers in Asaka ”

2011.07.03

On Sunday, July 3, I along with Yoshiki Toda participated the briefing session, titled “proposal for the creation of the park fir the citizen by the citizen,” by members of “the park enjoyment developers ”at the community center in Asaka City.

A basic plan for the project to create a park at approximately 11.3-hectare former military base in Asaka City, Saitama Prefecture, was formulated by Asaka City in 2009.
In order to formulate the basic development plan, Yoshiki Toda is one of the erudition members on the committee, which Prof. Morio Uzuki from Waseda University is the chairman, and started involving in the planning study from 2 years ago.

“The park enjoyment developers in Asaka” was founded for opportunities to exchange opinions, or to visit the advanced cases of other municipalities to think together about how to maintain parks from the citizens’ point of view in order to create a park beloved by citizens.
We could share the solid image of the ideal park by discussing about the park keeping up with management of Satoyama (maintained woods for production) at Yokohama, about management of natural gardens and forests in urban settings, or visiting playgrounds for everybody.
Also, issues citizen groups faced to manage the park in actual situation were greatly helpful for further management.
In this briefing session was composed with these visiting experiences or many exchanges of opinions summarized as concrete objectives for the creation of parks.

Citizens presented their own opinions on the creation of a park to other citizens at the day of session.

I had organized several workshops for town or park planning; nevertheless, this is first time for me to see the opportunity that citizens presented their own opinions to other citizens.
I was exhilarated with something I never experienced with any other job I have done before, that day.
Why… I have been participating as a facilitator of excursions or meeting for exchange opinions in this “the park enjoyment developers in Asaka.”
Anyhow, people attending this “the park enjoyment developers in Asaka” always had intensive discussion.
And, everybody was hardworking. They are cautious about not only problems on parks, but also city planning.
I had been observing people, who love their town, trying hard to make a livable environment for their children and future, therefore, I got deeply impressed that I could be a part of the session and, somehow, believed that is the historical day for a new beginning of the way to create a park.

About 120 to 130 people gathered in a hall where the session was taken place, and “the park enjoyment developers in Asaka” gave zealous massages
This is a turning point of the park management from just discussing in simply ritualistic meeting for the creation of a park, to truly considering how the citizens could manage parks.
From now on, the actual development on this park of the former military base soon begins.
I would like to support to it as much as possible, until then.

Naomi Ohashi

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