Comments on Kaisei Town & Minami Ashigara City
by Kevin Burns
Photo of Kaisei Town courtesy of Sandra Isaka
What is that smell? Is it Kaisei or Kusei?
I delivered pamphlets to houses throughout your beautiful
town so I know what I am talking about. What are the
various odours throughout Kaisei? I'm being facetious I
know what they are, they are from the various
factories in the town. But why have the factories right
next to neighbourhoods? Why do the people living in
your town have to smell and breathe that polluted air?
This is a Japan-wide problem by the way--a lack of
adequate zoning for industry and housing. I think it is very
unhealthy to have factories amongst houses. You need
more zoning in Kaisei.
You need to have one area
for industry, and then another for housing, and
another for services--like shops and restaurants.
Mixing factories in with houses will lead and I'm sure
is leading now, to health problems such as: asthma
and allergies-- not to mention a myriad of
others. It really is a shame that this is so, because
in so many ways your town is progressive and a very
nice place to live. But if I was ever to live
in Kaisei, I would choose my residence very carefully in
order to avoid a factory, and I would try to guess
whether a factory was going to be built in my
In Canada there is more zoning than there is
in Japan. The factories are in an industrial
area--called an industrial park. This is separated from the
houses. I think it is much more healthy.
In Kaisei's favour I compliment your vision in creating many
beautiful parks throughout the town! It is a very clean
place in terms of litter. The people of Kaisei are also
great! You are blessed with a nice group of citizens!
The neighbourhoods seem very safe and the people
close-knit. That is an invaluable thing. When the citizens
are not close-knit that can lead to an increase in
crime. People do not watch out for each other as much of
course, when they lack community spirit.
I love big trees, and I think almost every Japanese city needs more
of them along the streets and I include Kaisei in
this. I think you should institute a bylaw that all
new apartment buildings must plant a certain
number of trees or have a certain percentage of green
space--as opposed to the most common situation now, of
filling in the
whole area with ashphalt.
A bylaw against noise would also be a great idea. Allow
politicians to put up posters but not create noise with
loudspeakers. Make Kaisei a loud-speaker free zone. Be the
first town in Japan to do so, your citizens will
thank you. Have a festival once a year as they do
in Chemanus, Canada, and invite artists from all
over the world to donate their time and paint beautiful
murals on the many drab, large factory buildings,
cement walls in Kaisei. It will brighten up the town,
bring in tourist dollars, and help the tax base. There
are a lot of large, drab walls in the town that would
be ideal for a mural depicting say a Gray Whale
jumping or other such nature scene. These large walls are
a chance in the making rather than a liability. But
as they are now, they are rather depressing and take
away from the town. The town would become famous if
a painted mural festival. You and your
constituents would have to decide if that is one
goals for Kaisei. Chemanus went from being a poor
town, to a rather well off town. Their mural
festival really saved their small town. I will try to
come up with more suggestions in the future. Most of
these suggestions could be
applied to my town of
Minami Ashigara. Mr. Mayor are you listening?