One year after the Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, many coastal communities in Japan's Tohoku region show little progress in rebuilding. Yet as this paper explains, localities, along with affected prefectures and the national government, have been embroiled in a complex, iterative planning process that has involved scientific modeling of future tsunami risk scenarios, difficult decisions about future land uses and funding for reconstruction, and the creation of new polices, programs, and institutions. Taking time to plan conflicts with the urgency to rebuild, but it also provides an opportunity to reflect local needs and to coalesce on a shared vision for rebuilding. While Tohoku's future still remains uncertain, these planning efforts may ultimately lay the foundation for a successful and efficient recovery. Conversely, they may cause unnecessary delays that only exacerbated the region's already fragile economy and community well-being.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology