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CJS Noon Lecture Series | "Creating the Most Interesting Town in the World": Community Development in the Aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Thursday, October 22, 2015
4:00 AM
1636 School of Social Work Building

Gota Matsumura is co-founder and representative director of the post-tsunami community development organization Ishinomaki 2.0. A native of Ishinomaki City and a graduate of Tohoku University's School of Law, Mr. Matsumura directed sports-based community development initiatives in his hometown until it was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. In the aftermath of the disaster, he and a number of colleagues formed Ishinomaki 2.0 to support Ishinomaki's post-tsunami recovery and aid those living in temporary housing. In addition to his duties with Ishinomaki 2.0, Mr. Matsumura serves on the board of the Miyagi Prefecture Development Planning Committee and as an adviser on community empowerment for the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Ishinomaki suffered catastrophic damage as the city located nearest the epicenter of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, and has faced an especially daunting road to recovery. In addition to providing an overview of this experience, Mr. Matsumura will detail how his organization, Ishinomaki 2.0, has worked to address peripheral urban issues laid bare by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami--namely, by seizing upon the disaster to strengthen Ishinomaki's linkages with external actors and apply new, unconventional ideas. Ishinomaki 2.0's experimental methods of open and creative community development, Mr. Matsumura argues, may well be applicable in the context of other peripheral urban areas.

Gota Matsumura, Director and Co-Founder, Ishinomaki 2.0