The Jingu Gaien redevelopment controversy
Citizens Ask Governor Koike to Go Back to the Drawing Board
Rochelle Kopp, Organizer of the online petition: ‘Protect Jingu Gaien's trees! Rethink the development plan!’
Naoko Nishikawa, Organizer of Jingu Gaien wo Mamoru Yushi Net & Editor-in-Chief, Kenchiku Journal
13:00-14:00 Monday, August 1, 2022
(The speech and Q & A will be English and in Japanese with English interpretation)
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has given the go-ahead for a major redevelopment of Jingu Gaien, the cluster of sports facilities and green space adjacent to the National Stadium in Sendagaya that includes the iconic avenue lined with four rows of large ginkgo trees. The project has recently become a focus of attention in Tokyo, with people from across the political spectrum speaking out with concerns about the project. This has created a lot of pressure for Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, who is being asked how a project that will chop down so many trees can be squared with her emphasis on environmental matters.
Jingu Gaien, the Outer Garden of Meiji Jingu Shrine, was designated as Japan's first Landscape Conservation area in 1926. Many of the trees in the park were contributed from around the country and the world, and the park was built with volunteer labor and donations. The site is now home to a variety of public sports facilities and two historic stadiums. The redevelopment plan is made possible by a loosening of height restrictions in the area that was implemented in conjunction with the Olympics.
The project entails the following: Switching the locations of and rebuilding Jingu Stadium and Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground; rebuilding the Itochu headquarters building, nearly doubling its height to 190 meters; adding two additional buildings that will contain offices, hotels, and commercial facilities; relocating the private tennis club to the main plaza area; demolishing the Royal Garden Café, Kihachi and Shake Shack restaurants; eliminating the second baseball stadium, golf driving range, batting dome, indoor playing field, softball fields, public tennis courts and futsal courts; and the cutting down of nearly 1,000 trees.
Two activists, Naoko Nishikawa and Rochelle Kopp, will tell the FCCJ about the various concerns and issues related to the redevelopment project.
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