Sustainable human settlement is our main interest. Mankind is social animals, and in ancient times,
they were living together by some families or kinship, and supported each
other. Traditional houses were built by families and community co-production
using simple local materials such as soil or plants. The human brain feels
pleasantness when they contribute to the community.
In modern society, division of labor progressed, and the individualization of life became prominent. The social entity of communities become dramatically changed, we have diverse social networks within neighborhoods, schools, and companies. Housing became safer, comfortable, decent and expensive one. People usually buy homes without building it yourself.
So, our research has to begin with a firm recognition of the big gap between the primitive form and the modern aspect of housing.
The globalization of society, economy and environment has caused great changes in the community. Sudden shock event (wars, internal conflicts, disasters, industrial changes, etc.) hit the local people and life. We think about supporting the voluntary efforts of small towns and villages or local communities in the Inner city. It brought social stress and traumatic experience not only for victimes, but also whole community. Community resilience is our main research topic.
The Disadvantage communities that face the risks of access to basic human needs or health will be the main target area for our research. Slum upgrading is an essential issue, especially in waterfronts and coastal areas that are vulnerable to climate change. We will study how to support their self-help efforts, bring mutual self-help, or combine appropriate public suuport.We also pursuit to adequate shelter for all and Place to stay as a basic human right, for the people in needs, indigenous
people or immigrants.
Our academic discipline is planning theory, using Participatory Action Research(PAR) approach to study how to support communities facing problems. The challenge
is to design an optimal policy program and planning system and implement
project management based on it, while taking into account the unique culture of the region. Case studies are conducted mainly in Asian countries. In addition to literature research, we use fieldwork, interviews, contextual
analysis, and structural analysis.
Current research topics are;
1) Theory of Context Building
Community memory, legacy and heritage (SDG 11.4)
2) Capacity Building Strategies
Community engagement, mutual self-help and learning region (Goal 11.4)
3) Integrated Area Development(IAD) Program Design
Place making, links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas (SDG 11.a)
4) Theory of Strategic Planning
Social innovation (SDG 9)
Community informatics, integrated policies and plans (SDG 11.b)
5) Organization for Community Development
Community enterprise, cooperatives, trans-sectoral Partnerships, collective
impact (SDG 17)
6) Project Management for Community Development
Collaborative process, feedback process(SDG 11.c)
We will operate the "Social Innovation Lab." and build its international network.
MSc students and undergraduate students participate in team research and learn how to conduct research through experience.