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April 2006

Additional Policies for Promoting the Creation of Historical Kyoto Scenery Released

24 April 2006

The Mayor, Mr. Masumoto has released new policies for promoting the creation of historical Kyoto scenery. Previously, the Kyoto Scenery Creation Committee, which consists of academic specialists, economists and citizens, submitted their mid term report regarding how to preserve and create scenery in Kyoto. Specifically it includes 5 main points: 1) regulation on the height of buildings; 2) a call for designs for middle or high rise buildings in historical areas; 3) regulations on building design in preserved areas; 4) measures regarding outdoor advertisements; 5) suggestions for the preservation and creation of historical buildings like machiya townhouses. The regulations concerning height and design are the first of their kind to be passed in Japan. With the support of citizens and businesses, the city will start to implement those policies from April 2007. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Scenery Planning Section at 075-222-3397.

Construction Outline for Takaragaike Park’s New “Kodomo no Rakuen” Released

24 April 2006

Kyoto City has released the construction outline for Takaragaike Park’s new “Kodomo no Rakuen”. Since the present “Kodomo no Rakuen” park is old and in need of repair, funds were allotted to create a new park as the center of a safe and comfortable zone for children in rich natural surroundings. The new park will grow by about 10,000m² to reach a total size of about 43,000m². It will include three zones: Play Park Zone, where children can play freely, and learn wood and bamboo crafts; Big Square Zone, a large lawn and sports ground; and Playground Zone, equipped with a roofed square and a small mountain. The car park will also be increased in size. Play and forest instructors will be stationed at both of the park’s rest areas. Entry to the park is free. Construction will begin in May 2006 and finish in March 2008. For this reason, the park will be closed until May 2008. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Greenery Policy Section at 075-222-3589.

Public Benefit Reporting Window Opened

17 April 2006

Kyoto City has opened Public Benefit Reporting Window to deal with reports and counsel from workers reporting illegal actions at their places of work. On April 1st, a new law was enacted that protects workers from being fired or punished by employers after they report illegal actions being carried out at the company. All reports are kept confidential. The city will deal with matters when is has the authority, or inform an organization that is authorized to carry out legal sanctions. The window is open from 9:00 to 17:00, except for Sat., Sun. and national holidays. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Personnel Section at 075-222-4080.

AED Lending Service Started

17 April 2006

Kyoto City has started a new service that provides AED (automated external defibrillator) to the organizers of public events. An AED is a piece of medical equipment that can automatically analyses cardiac cardiograms of cardiac arrest patients and administer electronic shocks, if necessary. Currently medical staff and untrained people can operate AEDs during relief operations before the patient is transferred to the hospital. The service is available for roughly 7 days to groups that organizes non-commercial event with more than 10 participants. For further information, contact the local fire department.

Disaster Volunteer Center Opened

10 April 2006

On April 1st, Kyoto City opened a Disaster Volunteer Center in the Hito Machi Koryu-kan Kyoto (Shimogyo-ku) in cooperation with the Kyoto NPO Center and Kyoto City Social Welfare Committee. The center was founded to prepare volunteer organizing systems that can be a great help during large disasters. If a disaster happens, the center takes care of recruiting and sending volunteers and coordinating systematic and effective work. Generally, the center helps to establish a cooperative relationship between other groups, to train volunteer coordinators, to carry out promotion activities to let people know about volunteer work. The center is open from 9:00 to 17:00, and closed on Sat., Sun., national holidays and the third Tuesday of every month. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Local Creation Section at 075-222-4072.

Kyoto Machiya Townhouses designated as Scenic Important Buildings based on Scenic Law

10 April 2006

Kyoto City has designated three old machiya townhouses as important scenic buildings based on a scenic law. This is the first such designation in Japan. The three machiya are: 1) The Yoshida residence (Shinmachi Rokkaku-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku); 2) the Kojima residence (Shinmachi Nishikikoji-agaru, Nakagyo-ku); and 3) the Yamanaka Oil Shop (Shimodachiuri Chiekoin-nishi-iru, Kamigyo-ku). Those buildings were chosen by the mayor after consulting with specialists and the machiya owners. These machiya will serve as symbols of historic preservation and to promote more and more of this kinds of preservation. These residences are given special tax and construction consideration. The city will gradually design more buildings that preserves important historical structure. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Scenic Section at 075-222-3474.

Mid Term Report of Kyoto Scenery Creation Committee Released

3 April 2006

Kyoto City has received the mid term report from Kyoto Scenery Creation Committee on March 27th 2006. It includes information on how the city preserves and creates historical areas. The committee consists of academic specialists, economists and citizens. The committee has had several meetings since last July. In the mid term report, 5 basic policies are suggested, including how to coexist with the natural environment, particularly in the Kyoto basin, and how to blend the continuance of traditional culture and creation with modern ideas. Three important policies are also aimed at further regulations for building height and design, preservation of historical buildings like machiya, and regulations to deal with outside advertisements and illegal parking. The city will promptly work on those policies from this report. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Scenery Planning Section at 075-222-3397.

Kyoto Oike Sosei-kan Completed

3 April 2006

On April 1st 2006, Kyoto Oike Junior High School complex building, Kyoto Oike Sosei-kan, opened on the old site of the Ryuchi Junior High School (Yanaginobanba Oike, Nakagyo ward). The building was built using a PFI (private finance initiative) system that effectively uses the ideas and techniques of private companies. The building has 7 above-ground stories and 1 basement hosting a new school building, a child care center, a day-care center for elderly people and a comprehensive local support center. The complex has an environmentally friendly design that includes a green space on the roof, fuel batteries and recycling of well and rain water. In addition, it has an emergency commodity storage area and an emergency water well. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Education Board at 075-222-3768.

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