Bunkyo Ward, as a municipality, conforms to the City Planning Law, Article 15-24, the Procedure for Decision Making for Plans and Changes of Plan. As per Fig. 3.4 (left column of left frame), the following are the procedures of “Changes of Tokyo Metropolis City Park” to Motomachi Park:
1. When the initial proposal was made, the Ward held three explanatory meetings in April 2006 (Bunkyo Word 2006). Local communities, in the vicinity of the park, requested the Ward to hold an explanatory meeting, but the request was not met (Tatemono Ouendan Various timelime 2006).
2. The Ward explained the initial proposal, reported citizen comments and opinions at the explanatory meetings, and consulted with the City Planning Council to make the final proposal.
3. The Ward rendered the final proposal open to public inspection and received 75 opinions from citizens. All the opinions were in opposition, and none endorsed the proposal.
4. The mayor inquired the Planning Council for deliberation and advice of the final proposal to which was attached the sign of consent by the governor of Tokyo Metropolis.
When the procedure had reached this point, the Ward and also Tonuma, the Chairperson of the City Planning Council, received many requests from citizen groups. He reported the procedure of closing Motomachi Park and reminisced “as a Chairman of the City Planning Council, consider the issue (receptively or) without any bias (Tonuma 2007).”
Citizens Actions and Events
The citizen groups did as many things as they could after the announcement of the
initial proposal. As per Fig. 3.4 (right frame):
1. The Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture and four other academic societies wrote petitions to the mayor.
2. Many citizen groups held two joint symposiums in the latter half of 2006. “Pappato@Kaigi@Motomachi Park (2006)” tried to reach out to a wide range of people to emphasize the importance of preservation of the Park. Also, the home page of “23 Motomachi Park Commemoration of Earthquake Disaster” provided basic information about the park.
3. “The Bunkyo Link for Architectural Preservation” submitted five requests to the Mayor and four other requests to the related organizations. They opened their home pages as “Tatemono Ouendan,” which gave the history of the park, and they wrote many petitions and requests to the Mayor of the ward and related organizations.
4. “The Society for Bunkyo’s Cultural Heritage” sent Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association a recommendation that Motomachi Park be listed on the 100 historical parks of Japan, a program to celebrate the 50th anniversary of enactment of the Urban Park Act. As a result, the park was selected as one of the historical parks in Japan (Tatemono Ouendan Preservation Action 2006).