Settlement planning through linking people. A participatory approach of the Kitagata project in Japan
The Kitagata Project was one of the pioneering cases of
participatory settlement development in urban low-income communities in Japan. In recognition of the achievement, the Architectural Institute of Japan awarded a prize of honour to the City of Kitakyushu and an independent planning team, the Wakatake Planning Institute, in 1994. The points cited were:
• efficiency in implementing an improvement project for a
large-scale low-income settlement;
• the role of planners as an intermediary between government and people, facilitating their partnership in the process of environmental upgrading;
• innovative attempt for house design reflecting ‘a joy of
living collectively’; and
• organisation of a series of participatory activities in
planning and implementation.
However, the Project’s participatory approaches have not
been documented much in the past.