Hey US, Japanese Idea Worth Stealing

Another natural disaster hit the US – a fierce tornado ravaged its way through Oklahoma. While we all mourn the losses, the engineer in me started thinking about building codes and land use. (Apparently, so did Joshua Schwartz of the NY Times – No Safe Room To Run To )

One of the best ideas I’ve seen in Japan (and trust me when I say, there are so many), is using river banks as soccer fields. Flood cleanup of houses? Nope.

Soccer fields line river banks

Soccer fields line river banks

After Fukushima, most of the buildings were retrofitted to make sure they too wouldn’t collapse.

I’ve lived through a thousand year flood in WV and was a part of the Hurricane Rita and Katrina cleanup. Some of what we need to do is go back to the basics.

We need to start thinking about preventation and risk mitigation again in the US.

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5 Responses to Hey US, Japanese Idea Worth Stealing

  1. Brent says:

    soccer fields, baseball fields, and then the dikes… the water would have to come up a long way!
    On the other hand, there are apparently some dikes and or areas that are still in danger of flooding and along the Arakawa some places look pretty sketchy! The weak areas would be just as devastating as not having any dike in place… I heard they are looking into how to strengthen those areas…

    • Brent,
      I’m sure but for an area with a population density three times that of NYC, Tokyo Metro has put the long term first.
      I’m sure my post may be received as lacking empathy. If people live in trailers along river banks because they can’t afford housing that would make them safe, perhaps we as humanitarians want to look at preventative grants or support to put them out of harms way. And as engineers, mandate safety.

      • Brent says:

        i see your point.
        being in Japan and seeing use and misuse of land… and then seeing back home, letting people live there, not take appropriate actions/measures… and when things go bad, callin it a disaster, instead of just making it safe in the first place…

  2. My parents survived Hurricane Sandy and sent me this article. Looks like someone gets it.

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