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Department of Environmental Engineering and Architecture

Group of Sustainable Development Studies

Sustainable Urban Development
The disorderly expansion of cities which is now taking place in developing nations will lead to a substantial decline in social, economic and environmental efficiency, while the accelerating population decrease and suburbanization of cities in advanced nations will cause the devastation of central urban areas and bring about a decrease in infrastructure development. In order to deal with these problems, we engage in research and education directed at the sustainable development of urban areas. Based on urban demographics and social/economic trends, we develop and design effective technologies and systems to improve the efficiency of various urban factors including infrastructure, transportation systems, water resource management and energy/material metabolism. We also formulate political proposals that will contribute to the improved efficiency of the entire urban system.

Functional Materials and Environment
In order to establish a sustainable society, it is important to understand the functions of the limited resources available and ensure their effectiveness. To realize this goal, various measures such as information technologies and simulation tools should be used to visualize and analyze the environmental functions and their control systems. We are engaged in education and research concerning the development and management of new generation techniques, environmental information systems, and environmental functional materials as well as assessment, preservation and restoration of ecosystems in the surrounding areas, water basins, and soil.

Material-Systems Science in Environment
In order to solve environmental problems and ensure the sustainable development and safety/stability of urban development, it is necessary to acquire a systematic understanding of the structure of the material environment, placing emphasis on achieving harmony with nature, and considering urban development as a component of the Earth. It is also important to consider the temporal and spatial changes/dynamism occurring in the environment. We conduct research and education based on the environmental sciences, studying geology (water and soil), ecology (biobehavior) and chemistry (material) in order to scientifically investigate, analyze and solve problems regarding the structure, nature and environmental impact of materials at the nano, micro and macro levels.

Environmental Systems and Planning
Human activities taking place on various spatial and temporal scales (such as cities, countries and the Earth as a whole) cause an enormous amount of resource/energy circulation and have a significant impact on the geosphere environment. With this in mind, we conduct research and education in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the relationships between spatial dynamics and environmental problems, such as the spatial relationship between regional economic growth/infrastructure development and resource presence/demand, the real status of urban development and industrial accumulation, and the impact of transportation infrastructure/logistics on regional economic growth/resource consumption. We also study and design the appropriate technological systems needed in order to achieve sustainable land use.

Land, Infrastructure and Transportation Management
Our research aims are: to develop a methodology to establish and maintain beautiful urban environments that are both economically and environmentally sustainable; to establish a social infrastructure that ensures comfortable and congenial living, and to develop an evaluation method for the appropriate maintenance/management for this infrastructure; and to develop disaster-resistant urban buildings.

Architecture Course

Environmental and Safety Management
In order to establish a sustainable, safe and secure form of urban living, in harmony with nature and involving both man-made objects and human beings, we are engaged in research and education concerning the management of the urban environment from the standpoint of human activities in accordance with the following themes: 1) optimum design, with a good balance of comfort and energy saving based on an evaluation of the living environment conducted from various angles, 2) the development of a new social system by means of collaboration between the public, administration and experts, 3) the creation, preservation and evolution of urban environments based on the efficient use of resources, 4)) the mitigation and control of urban disaster and crisis management, and evaluation of the earthquake safety of buildings, 5) the development and use of geographic information systems taking natural, urban and social aspects into account, and 6) conservation of the historical environment and urban design, making positive use of the existing cultural heritage.

Architectural and Environmental Design
The goal of architectural and environmental design is to create beautiful, safe and comfortable space through the arrangement of various physical factors related to design, structure and equipment, within the restrictions of land area, programs, financial budgets and laws. Our current research and education activities are directed towards integrating our accumulated knowledge concerning planning, design, evaluation, and the technologies for architectural and artificial environments, with modern priorities such as the preservation of ecosystems, reduction of environmental burdens, the use of social/cultural/historical context, and collaboration within the community.

Building Structure and Construction Systems
In order to realize a safe and sustainable architectural and urban environment, we conduct research and education directed towards the establishment/maintenance of resource-recycling structural systems. We study the design of various structures such as reinforced concrete, steel and wooden structures, large span structures, and structures designed for earthquake isolation and vibration control. We are also engaged in the design of construction materials, the development of new materials, and the evaluation of their performance. In addition to these conventional fields of research and education, we also propose systems for the assessment, renovation, maintenance and management of buildings, recycling technologies and long-life buildings.