Research Interests and Topics
- Broad: Planning, Urban Design (as Public Policy), Community Development
- Specific: Urban Planning for Low Environmental Impact and Disaster Mitigation, Planning Methodology (Procedures and Techniques)
Land Use Planning for Climate Change Response and Disaster Mitigation
Cities in Japan are facing both progressive and sudden risks that should be considered in long-range land use and infrastructure planning. "Networked Compact City" or any other sustainable urban form has been considered to respond to the progressive risks including decline of working population, hyper-aging, economic stagnation, widening disparity, governments' financial difficulties and intensification of environmental problems such as climate change, energy, food and water. Recently, more proactive planning measures are called for to respond to the sudden risks including major earthquake, tsunami, typhoon, isolated rain and volcanic eruption. It is inevitable to direct the de-intensification or even the withdrawal of existing urban areas at high risks in long-range planning for Japanese cities where consensus building and decision making process will be a great challenge.
- Research Projects
- Introductions and Presentations
Applying Global Ecodistrict Framework to Japanese Low Carbon Community Development
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science | April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2021
- Nishiki 2 District (Nagoya City, Japan)
- Akito Murayama: Experiences in Nishiki 2 District
Presented at Workshop Session: Opening Up the Black Box of Research-Practice, September 15, 2016, EcoDistricts 2016 Research Forum
- Akito Murayama: The Implementation of Municipal Low-Carbon City Strategy though Community Development in Existing Urban Area: The Case of Nagoya City and Nishiki 2 Low-Carbon Model District (YouTube)
Presented at International Conference: Urban Governance in the Network Society: France, Thailand and Japan, January 19-20, 2017, Rhone Department & Metropolitan Archives, Lyon, France
- Akito Murayama:
Compendium Nishiki 2, EcoUrbanism Research Network
- Hiroyoshi Morita, Akito Murayama, Yasutoshi Sasaki: Connecting Public Spaces and Basins with Wood, The City at Eyelevel Asia
- Introductions and Reports
Urban System Design Approach to Smart Cities and Communities
Collaboration with Dr. Perry P. J. Yang (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Dr. Yoshiki Yamagata (National Institute for Environmental Studies)
Ongoing Research Project
Workshops and Symposiums
Smart City Studio, Georgia Institute of Technology (Co-Design Experiment with National Institute for Environmental Studies and the University of Tokyo)
Urban Place Management in Japan
Akito Murayama:The Importance of Urban Place Management in Japan, Journal of Place Management and Development Vol.1 No.1 p.24, 2008
The population of Japan has reached its peak of 128 million in 2004 and is expected to decline to 90 million in 2055. At the same time, the percentage of elderly population (persons 65 years old and over) will increase from 19.6% in 2005 to 40.5% in 2055. Though the population is beginning to shrink, cities in Japan continue to expand and disperse due to suburban housing and commercial developments. Excessive suburban developments have already spurred the decline of traditional urban centers and neighborhoods, resulting in the loss of great urban places. In order to achieve sustainability and high quality of life for all generations, we need to stop automobile-dependant suburban developments and regenerate existing urban centers and neighborhoods well supported by public transit.
One of the major issues of urban regeneration in Japan is that most urban centers and neighborhoods are shaped without clear spatial visions and strategies. Mixed use and vibrant looking vernacular urban places, often praised by European and American planners and urban designers, are merely the accidental results of market economy and loose land use/building regulations, and are actually vulnerable in many ways. Therefore, it is important for urban centers and neighborhoods in Japan to have clear spatial visions and effective strategies to be regenerated to attractive urban places. It goes without saying that various actors including citizens, businesses, governments and non-profit organizations take part in such urban regeneration. We should explore and apply systems, procedures and techniques to make possible the collaborative and sustainable management of urban places by various actors of society.
The methodology for place management and development should be diverse with different social, economical and cultural backgrounds, but there are many things to learn from each other. I am looking forward to the international discussions.
Implementing United Nations' New Urban Agenda. Universities in action (UNI-NUA) - Completed Project
Partners: Politecnico di Torino (P.I. Claudia Cassatella) and The University of Tokyo (P.I. Akito Murayama) | Funded by Compagnia di San Paolo within the Politecnico di Torino Joint Projects for the Internationalization of Research 2017 | September 20, 2017 - September 19, 2018
UNI-NUA aims at developing a better understanding of the mechanisms and opportunities for universities' engagement in complex territorial governance processes and of the actual potentials for knowledge transfer and multidisciplinary joint action in spatial planning practices. In so doing, this project will provide a relevant contribution in the direction of the United Nations' NUA, calling for a further engagement of the academic sector in territorial actions towards sustainable and resilient urban development (UN, 2016; article 149 and following).
Urban Land Use Planning in Tokyo and Japan (Materials in English)
Akito Murayama (