|City Planning That Enables People and Companion
Animals to Live Together
A Growing Trend Towards Allowing the Keeping Pets in Collective
Housing (Apartment, Condominiums)
Pets are coming
to be thought of as companion animals as companions of the people
who live with them rather than merely as object of affection. As
part of this shift, the matter of how people and companion animals
should live together in cities is being looked at anew. In this connection,
moreover, a particularly important issue which concerns our lifestyles
is how to keep animals in collective housing the form of housing
that accounts for more than half of all urban housing in Japan.
In this issue we would like to consider the matter of urban planning
that makes it possible for people and companion animals to live together.
Hyogo Prefecture and the City of Kobe Are
Building Japan's First Publicly-Managed Rental Collective Housing
Where Keeping Pets Will Be Allowed; Occupancy of the Kobe Housing
Will Begin in February.
Concomitant with collective housing becoming
so common in Japanese cities, government guidelines for keeping pets
have grown more flexible. In 1994, for example, the Tokyo Sanitation
Department drew up "Model Regulations for Keeping Animals in Collective
Housing", which encourage the residents' management associations of
collective housing to establish rules for keeping animals. In 1997,
moreover, the Ministry of Construction revised, for the first time
in 14 years, "the Code of Ethics for Managing Medium and High Rise
Collective Housing", expressly stating that the rules for keeping
dogs, cats and other pets in collective housing, which had been vague
until then, would now be stipulated in the code (Comment 2 on Article
18 (Rules of Use)).
in publicly managed collective housing, which in the past was essentially
prohibited, is also coming to be allowed. Last year the prefectural
government of Hyogo Prefecture became the first government body in
Japan to undertake the construction of rental collective housing where
pets will be allowed. As society ages and nuclear families become
more common, dogs, cats and other pets are increasingly providing
emotional support in people's lives. In the aftermath of the Kobe
Earthquake, moreover, there were not a few people who derived such
support from their pets. Accordingly, the prefectural government undertook
a model project whereby, as part of its earthquake recovery efforts,
it is constructing two prefecturally managed, pets-allowed housing
complexes "Kanokodai Minami"(two buildings with 55 units
in Kobe's Kita-ku district) and "Shirakawadai" (two buildings
with 44 units in Kobe's Suma-ku district) whose 99 units will be
equipped with pet doors and other pet facilities. Occupancy is scheduled
to begin in mid-April. Each complex's governing body will establish
a pet management committee and rules for keeping pets, and independently
ensure that pets are properly kept.
The City of
Kobe is also constructing earthquake recovery rental housing where
pets will be allowed. In advance of the decision to construct this
housing, the City undertook the unique step of establishing a Pet
Problems Research Committee a group composed of specialists in
the field, the heads of the governing bodies of temporary housing
complexes, etc. which then extensively investigated the matter
of keeping pets in collective housing. According to Tomohiro Yamamoto,
head of the planning section of the housing department of the Kobe
Housing Bureau, "Many of the surviving victims of the Kobe Earthquake
live with pets that are like family members to them, providing them
with emotional support, and strongly desire to live permanently with
these pets, together with which they have endured much suffering.
However, keeping pets in collective housing, where there had been
no little trouble with them, came to be generally prohibited. We therefore
organized a research committee of experts and others to study the
matter in depth."
Based on a
report last June from the research committee, the City of Kobe is
now constructing two earthquake recovery housing complexes with a
total of 69 units "Kanokodai Minami Housing" (one building
with 35 units in Kobe's Kita-ku district) and "Verde Tamatsu"
(one building with 34 units in Kobe's Nishi-ku district) as "model
housing" where keeping pets will be allowed. While no special
facilities for pets will be included in the units, a decision has
been made to organize pet owners' committees composed of residents
and to establish detailed rules for encouraging restrictions on breeding,
for the kind and number of pets that can be kept, etc. Occupancy is
scheduled to start, respectively, on February 3 and in late March.
This will be Japan's first publicly-managed rental collective housing
where keeping pets will be allowed. In connection with it, classes
on how to keep pets, pet training classes, and more are now being
planned in cooperation with the Kobe Veterinary Medical Association.
"Memorial Service for Animal Victims of the Kobe Earthquake" and "Symposium
on City Planning That Enables Living with Animals" to Be Held February 1 in Kobe
As an example of the increasing importance being accorded to the matter of
living with companion animals in cities, a "Memorial Service for Animal Victims of the Kobe
Earthquake" and a "Symposium on City Planning That Enables Living with Animals"
will be held on February 1 in Zoo Hall at the City of Kobe's Oji Zoo. The sponsor is the Kobe Earthquake
Executive Committee for Animal Mourning and Commemorating Activities, which is composed mainly of
organizations and public bodies that vigorously conducted animal rescue activities at the time of the
earthquake: Hyogo Prefecture, the City of Kobe, the Hyogo Prefecture Veterinary Medical Association,
the Kobe Veterinary Medical Association, the Osaka branch of the Japan Animal Welfare Society, and the Council
on Animal Rearing in Collective Housing. On February 1, the memorial service will be held at 10:30 in the morning and
the symposium at 1:00 in the afternoon. The symposium will consist of lectures by a three-member
panel and a general debate among the panelists and two prefectural residents. The panelists and the
subjects of their lectures will be: Shiro Nakagawa (director of the Ibaraki Prefecture Nature Museum
and former superintendent of the Ueno Zoo), "Animals and Cities How Are Cities Related
to Animals?"; Masumi Yoshida (professor at Doshisha University), "Japan as Seen According
to Its Laws Related to Pets"; and Yoshihiro Hayashi (professor in the Department of Agriculture
at the University of Tokyo), "Problem Behaviors of Dogs in Cities."
vice chairman of the Kobe Earthquake Executive Committee for Animal
Mourning and Commemorating Activities and president of the Kobe Veterinary
Medical Association, said the following about the upcoming events.
"Three years have passed since the earthquake. Many memorial
services have been held for people, but none has been held for animals.
This service is therefore being held to commemorate the animals that
perished in the earthquake, and to provide some consolation to the
people who, in the earthquake, lost pets that lived with them like
family members. Also, we veterinarians, through the animal rescue
activities that we've conducted since the earthquake, have seen many
cases in which people have been helped by living with animals. Recently,
keeping animals in collective housing has become an issue, so we decided
to take the construction, by Hyogo Prefecture and the City of Kobe,
of collective housing where pets will be allowed the first such
undertakings by public bodies in Japan as an opportunity to hold
a symposium for the purpose of seriously thinking about how people
can live together with animals and presenting this matter to the public."
of the panel, Yoshihiro Hayashi, professor in the Department of Agriculture
at the University of Tokyo and chairman of the Society for the Study
of Human Animal Relations, had this to say. "Animal Rescue Headquarters
of the Southern Hyogo(Kobe) Earthquake , which was formed following
the earthquake, evoked a nationwide response through the animal rescue
activities that it carried out through the joint efforts of government,
veterinary associations, animals protection groups, and so on. Those
activities were of major importance, I believe, in that they furthered
understanding about animals in Japan. My organization, the Society
for the Study of Human Animal Relations , was established immediately
after the earthquake, in April 1995, and has since continued to help
with animal rescue activities while using its slender means for such
purposes as holding, six months after its founding, in October 1995,
the "Kobe Earthquake Symposium" in Kobe. The symposium which
is being held now, three years after the earthquake, is a good opportunity,
I believe, to know how people are thinking about the subject of people
and animals living together."
The Companion Animal Research and Information
Center Will Publish and Begin Distributing, on February 1, a Textbook
on How to Live Together with Dogs and Cats in Collective Housing
So, how does
one live comfortably with dogs and cats in the collective housing
that comprises more than half of all urban housing in Japan? In order
to answer the many questions on this subject, the Companion Animal
Research and Information Center will publish "Together with Companion
Animals - Living with Dogs and Cats in Collective Housing," a
free textbook (not for sale) to be distributed starting February 1.
The textbook will be printed in two colors on A4-sized paper; it will
be 40 pages long; and its compilation will be supervised by the Japanese
Society of Humane Care of Animals . Consisting of four chapters
"Collective Housing and Pets," "Living with Cats,"
"Living with Dogs," and "Rules for Living with Pets
in Collective Housing" it will explain, in a manner easy to
understand even for people intending to keep dogs and cats in collective
housing for the first time, such things as the kinds of pets that
are appropriate for collective housing, the training of pets, spaying
and neutering, and making rules for keeping pets.
As a first
step, it will be distributed gratis to the participants at the Kobe
symposium on February 1. It will then be actively distributed at seminars
on keeping pets in collective housing, at pet training classes, and
At the Companion Animal Research and Information
Center, it is our hope that this textbook will contribute, if even
in the smallest way, to building comfortable relationships between
the people and companion animals that live together in collective housing.
In the future we look forward to carrying
out numerous other activities aimed at building good relationships
between people and pets and at creating, within urban settings, environments
that are easy for companion animals to live in.