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When I returned to my parents’ home in the countryside after a long absence, I found that nothing had changed. The buildings, the streets, and the parks were the same as before I moved away to the city and started living alone. Even so, the people living in the countryside were steadily aging, and I felt an unfathomable sense of unease at the fact that the unchanged landscape felt like an empty shell. Since then, I became interested in the field of urban studies.
I specialize in urban and real estate studies, and I analyze how cities can be viewed comprehensively through a quantitative approach. In particular, I am interested in the change in land and buildings and how the socioeconomic status of residents and their neighborhoods are associated with vacant lots and houses. Through such analysis, my goal is to consider future ways of life, and to contribute to urban housing policy.
My research subjects range from urban areas with high-rise condominiums to old villages with scattered dwellings. Here, we conducted field work in Senri New Town, one of the largest new towns in Japan. New towns have been built across Japan since the 1960s, and many of them are now facing problems such as building renovation and aging population. Senri New Town has successfully dealt with these problems and continues to grow. So, what are the causes of this success? I conducted a survey focusing on housing diversity and the connections among residents.
This video is only a small part of the research and analysis that I usually conduct, but it is also a very important setting for ascertaining the nature of my research subject. My research is often discussed objectively through statistical analysis, and it is even possible to complete these analyses without field work in some cases. However, a city is a place formed by a group of people, each with their own individuality, and we cannot understand the validity of our research results unless we dive into it. I hope that I can share my enthusiasm for urban studies, and the appeal of Senri New Town in this video.