This paper clarifies the relationship between the regional development planning which was strongly influenced by the national land and regional planning, the preceding urban planning, and wartime urban planning, by taking the Sen’en region as a case study; examines its ideas and reality; and considers the characteristics of wartime urban planning.
The central ministries, such as the Cabinet Planning Board, the Civil Engineering Bureau, and the Planning Bureau of the Home Ministry, worked to formulate the national land and regional planning and implement related projects, but their views did not necessarily align, and its concepts were not systematized.
On the other hand, in the Sen’en region, under the leadership of Shigeyuki Kanamori, the director of the Sendai Civil Engineering Branch of the Home Ministry, they formulated the Sen’en Regional Development Comprehensive Plan, which was a comprehensive regional development plan, based on an original systematic view on national land and regional planning. The Sen’en Plan was designed to make the Sen’en region an industrial city by utilizing the production base of Kamafusa Dam and Sendai inner and outer port construction as its core projects. Although previous studies did not elucidate the relationship between urban planning and national land and regional planning during WWII, by clarifying the process of how the Sen’en Plan was designed, it is found that civil engineers’ advocacy of integrated regional development concepts linked indirect population and industrial local dispersal concepts through industrial infrastructure development to actual industrial city construction in provincial areas, and that urban planning and national land and regional planning were closely linked.
However, the preceding discussion about the development of the region and urban planning strongly influenced how the Sen’en Plan was formulated. Though the intentions of individual entities such as the Home Ministry, Miyagi Prefecture, and each municipality were not necessarily in accord, they had the purpose of industrialization and urbanization in the Sen’en region in common, allowing for the smooth drafting of a grand development plan for the whole region.
In response to the formulation of the Sen’en Plan, wartime urban planning in Sendai specialized in projects related to industrial development in the city’s east and south. First, the eastern part of the city was incorporated into the urban planning area. Next, the land readjustment that was enforced by public entities in Nagamachi and Haranomachi was actualized. In addition, existing urban planning streets were added and changed. Tagajo, where the construction of a naval arsenal was proceeding, also saw the actualization of projects for land readjustment, the development of streets and elementary schools, and river improvements. However, these projects were stipulated at the locations of military arsenals, and the original concept for Sen’en region as a whole was not realized. In this way, wartime urban planning in the Sen’en region was innovative in that it was planned and implemented based on the urban planning concept as a comprehensive plan that made incorporations not only in terms of enhanced planning standards and wider planning areas, as clarified in previous research, but also in terms of plans for future land use across the whole region. However, in reality the plan was not actually feasible, partly because the construction of Kamafusa Dam and Sendai outer Port was frustrated. Thus, as was the case in other regions, the project focused heavily on military and munitions demands.