This study aims to clarify the realities of city improvement in the prewar period by studying the history of devising a city plan as well as the implementation of the plan and projects other than city planning in a local city with reference to the case of Matsue City. Matsue City designated areas subject to city planning on the basis of a preparatory city planning survey. Road networks proposed in the city planning preparatory survey were not necessarily translated exactly into streets as envisioned in the city plan; however, the lakeside roads constructed survived down to the postwar period and ended up as park roads, although they were not incorporated into the official city plan. The city-planning project of Matsue City ended up with only one city-planned street being developed as a state-aided unemployment relief project. However, it is clear that the civil development plans achieved a certain degree of success as evidenced by the landfill project implemented as part of the partial rerouting of the Hii River, road improvement by central and prefectural authorities, an unemployment relief project, land readjustment of fire-damaged areas, and the forced relocation of buildings.
The Hii River project facilitated city improvement because soil dredged from the river was used as landfill to improve farmland behind Matsue Station, improve lakeside roads, and to fill in parts of the Kyobashi River. At the same time, roads were improved and the layout of city streets was altered as an unemployment project. The readjustment of reconstituted fire-damaged land in the Shoto area was implemented by a city planning association, but it was a semipublic project because the mayor of Matsue City was made president of the association and because the city bore the construction cost. The project facilitated the improvement of the city center in terms of sidewalks. A reconstruction project implemented as post-treatment of the forced relocation of buildings was the starting point for the postwar city planning of cities that were not damaged by the war, although the project was not as big as the reconstruction plan for war-damaged areas undertaken during the postwar period.