路上イベントに関わる道路占用制度の緩和過程:1998年以降の中心市街地活性化を目的とした路上空間活用イベントとの関連に着目して [in Japanese] STUDY OF THE RELAXATION OF ROAD USE REGULATIONS IN JAPAN:An analysis of the impact of administrative decisions on the revitalization of city centers since 1998 [in Japanese]
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This study focuses on the relaxation of road use regulations following the implementation of the Law on Improvement and Revitalization of City Centers (Chushin-Shigaichi Kasseika Hou) in 1998. Since the law was implemented 18 years ago, events such as open cafes and morning markets have been held on public roadways in regional centers across Japan, allowing for the temporary installation of benches, parasols, and other such furnishings, attracting people, and increasing activity in the areas. This study is divided into three phases: a review of the processes which contributed to a relaxation of the regulations; an analysis of the sociopolitical motivations behind relaxing road use regulations; and an examination of the impact of regulation relaxation on events held on public roadways.<br><br> Since 1998 there has been a shift in focus from using this law to revitalize regional centers to using it to increase activity in metropolitan centers. When the law was initially implemented, there is little evidence that the government had any concrete ideas of how public roadways specifically, could be used; only that there was a need to relax regulations for regional revitalization. With the establishment of the Act on Special Districts for Structural Reform (SDSR, Kouzou-Kaikaku Tokku Hou) in 2002, the government began to collect data on the needs and requests of regional centers. From this information it became clear that the regulations relating to the use of public roadways needed reform. The cabinet ordered the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MLIT) to ease the regulations of the Road Law (Douro Hou) without changing the law itself. In 2005 MLIT issued a set of guidelines which would allow public roadways to be used for purposes other than transit.<br><br> Also in 2005, the cabinet created an Act for Area Rebirth (Chiiki Saisei Hou) to support regional governments’plans for revitalization. The practice of collecting data, begun with the development of SDSR, had been built upon and improved, while the idea of relaxing road regulation was reinforced with the Act on Special Measures Concerning Urban Renaissance (SMCUR, Toshi Saisei Tokubetsu Sochi Hou), an act intended to help cities recover from the bursting of the economic bubble in the 1990’s. The focus of this act was to help Japanese metropolitan areas remain competitive with other Asian metropolises, such as Shanghai or Singapore. To this end, MLIT recently amended both their guidelines and the Road Law, as of March 2016.<br><br> Our research found that the needs of the organizers had a significant impact on the relaxation of road use laws. Before issuing the 2005 guidelines, MLIT engaged in a rigorous research process, gathering data on 570 existing events before conducting 41 social experiments relating to events held on public roadways, of which 15 were permanently implemented. In more recent years, as the cabinet has focused more on economic recovery and global competitiveness, the use of public roadways in metropolitan areas has become more common. In this way the motivation and procedures to relax road use regulations have improved significantly.<br><br> This increased ease in the processes involved in using public roadways for events, as well as the increase in political motivation to do so, is now effective in the Metropolitan areas. After 18 years, it is the time to rethink how it creates an opportunity for regional centers struggling with the combined issues of depopulation, decreasing birthrate, aging population, and change in industrial structure, to create favorable conditions for their community. By implementing the new civic tools available to them, it may be possible to arrange and customize the use of their public roadways to attract more activity and ultimately, more people.
- Journal of Architecture and Planning (Transactions of AIJ)
Journal of Architecture and Planning (Transactions of AIJ) 82(733), 745-755, 2017
Architectural Institute of Japan