A popular female giant panda at the Oji Zoo, “Tantan”. Due to old age and heart disease, viewing is currently suspended (photographed by September 2021)
Kobe City will hold a regular press conference on June 22nd. Mayor Hisamoto Kizo expressed his view on the revision of the redevelopment plan for “Oji Park” (Nada Ward, Kobe City), which is currently under consideration.
■ Introduction tweet of maintenance plan formulation is on fire
The redevelopment of “Oji Park” including “Oji Zoo” was first announced in January 2021. From there, a concrete maintenance plan was announced in November, “attracting a university,” “abolishing an amusement park in the zoo, setting up a multi-storey car park there,” “abolishing land trucks, and opening a new stadium. It was a content that included “installation” and so on.
At this time, Mayor Hisamoto told Twitter to introduce the maintenance plan, “In November 2013, I stopped by Oji Park on my way to work immediately after becoming the mayor. The zoo director kindly guided me to the park. However, my interest was not in animals, but in the redevelopment of the entire Prince Park. “
The intention was to emphasize the importance of redevelopment, but zoo fans criticized “I don’t care about animals.” As a result, the development plan became widely known, and more than 5,000 opinions were received in the administrative procedure “public comments” to solicit the opinions of citizens, and more than 5,000 other emails and letters were received.
■ Review of maintenance plan reflecting the voice of citizens
Kobe City, which reviewed the maintenance plan in response to these opinions, announced a new direction for zoning on June 13, 2022. The abolition of the amusement park was withdrawn, the location of the parking lot that was planned to be set up there was changed, a land lane for practice was set up in the new stadium and it was open to the public, and the site area of the university was 4 hectares to 3.5 hectares. Some points have been reviewed, such as shrinking to.
At the press conference on this day, Mayor Hisamoto said, “There were many doubts about the amusement park’s desire to survive and the location of the amusement park as a parking lot.” However, since the old playset is a famous “retro amusement park”, “the facilities are quite old, so it can’t be left as it is,” he added.
Regarding the attraction of universities, there were many questions and oppositions from the citizens, such as “I doubt about attracting universities in the era of declining birthrate” and “It does not lead to population growth and retention”, but it remains the centerpiece of redevelopment. It seems, “As the population declines, it is of great significance to attract younger generations. The university is a hall of knowledge and has multiple benefits for the academic and economic aspects of Kobe,” explained Mayor Hisamoto. did.
■ Continue to exchange opinions on “Oji Park” in the future
The direction announced for the redevelopment plan is not a decision, and we will hold about 10 discussion meetings for citizens from late June to July. It is said that they will summarize the plan again and carry out public comments.
Mayor Hisamoto said, “Since it will have a big impact on people living in the neighborhood and users of the zoo, I will carefully explain how it changed based on the opinions received. It is not a one-sided explanation. , I also want to incorporate a workshop format. ” We will continue to pay attention to the movement of “Oji Park,” which includes a zoo that is loved not only by citizens but also by many people.
Interview / text / photo / Hitomi Goraku