Research Unit

Ageing Infrastructure Studies

Member

Osamu Maruyama (Professor, Faculty of Engineering), Ikumasa Yoshida (Professor, Faculty of Engineering), Hidehiko Sekiya (Lecturer, Advanced Research Institute), Takahito Mikami (Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering)

Research outline
Fatigue phenomena, typical damage to infrastructures such as aging bridges and flyovers, are not only difficult to discover—they can also lead to the structure’s collapse. As such, appropriate maintenance and management are necessary.
Making the most of the internet of things, the project constructs systems to detect vehicle weight, which contributes to fatigue, changes in the shape of the structure, and fatigue cracks, as well as develops the urban road bridge network management system and methodology of maintenance.
Expected research outcome
To develop a system that can evaluate the fatigue environment by setting a vehicle weighing system that uses monitoring sensors for many bridges and can prioritize the order of inspection. For disaster situations, the goal is to build a system that can instantaneously judge which lanes emergency vehicles can take. Further, it is expected to propose a methodology for public–private collaborative project to maintain and manage the infrastructure based on the said system.

Green Infrastructure Studies

Member

Kentaro Iijima (Professor, Advanced Research Institute and Faculty of Environmental Studies), Hom Bahadur Rijal (Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies), Shigehiro Yokota (Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies)

Research outline
Instead of the conventional infrastructure, which is made up of a psychical structure, the use of green infrastructure, which is focused on green space, is expected. The project aims to examine the complex functions of green infrastructure in the urban setting, to build analytical methods of its effects/influences on society, and to establish the evaluation method of the project. Further, it aims to develop the methodology for a project to develop, maintain, and run such a scheme in order to spread it.
Expected research outcomes
The research yields the examination of urban green space as green infrastructure, in terms of improvement to the environment, and of the complex functions of mitigating and preventing disaster by means of experiments, as well as the development of methods of evaluation by analyzing its effects/influences on health promotion and property values. Further, it is expected to develop a method for private–public partnership in urban revitalization using publicly owned lands.

Senior Life Style Studies

Member

Ryuichi Imai (Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering), Kei Okada (Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies), Lim Hwajin (Lecturer, Faculty of Urban Life Studies)

Research outline
It is essential to capture the quality and quantity of public and private services needed by different generations in an aging society with a low birth rate in order to secure and improve the quality of citizens’ life. The project develops an Urban Activities Monitoring System by making the most of big data so as to capture the migratory behavior of the elderly, drawing from the urban structure and future residential distribution. Further, using the said system, it develops marketing methods that contribute to decision making by local authorities and the private sector.
Expected research outcomes
To build an Urban Activity Monitoring System to capture the current migratory behavior of the elderly and future residential distribution, drawing from traffic big data and urban structure It will become possible to analyze various explicit and implicit demands using the system. It is also expected that these analyses will provide support for the Check phase in the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Action) in drafting urban planning and urban management policies and in drafting strategies for private companies.

Daily Life Style Studies

Member

Toshiki Nishiyama (Associate Professor, Faculty of Urban Life Studies), Masaya Watada (Professor, Faculty of Engineering), Koichi Kitami (Associate Professor, Faculty of Urban Life Studies), Noriaki Hashimoto (Lecturer, Faculty of Urban Life Studies)

Research outline
To develop a system that effectively supports the daily shopping of the so-called shopping refugees in the urban area, such as the elderly, persons with disability, and parents with young children. Taking into account the increasing number of farmers’ markets in Japan, and making the full use of the internet of things (IoT), we will develop a system that enables a series of shopping activities, from choosing products and to a safe settlement at home. We will also aim to fuse universal and ecological designs in the shopping field so that fresh produce will be delivered to the shopper’s home at a low carbon, low energy basis.
Expected outcomes
It is expected a model of a Rural-Urban Symbiotic System, in which agricultural producers and diverse layers of consumers are linked, such as the elderly, persons with disability, and parents with young children. An expected outcome is to realize a system that supports shopping of the “shopping refugees,” such as the elderly, persons with disability, and parents with young children, so that they feel they are part of society, in reference to food, as among the basic needs of human beings.
Agricultural produce can also be expected to develop business, which is in tune with the diverse needs of urban residents. It is expected that the fusion of universal design and ecological design in reference to shopping in the urban area will be realized by linking related technologies, such as electric cars and non-electric refrigeration system by way of IoT.

Health Care Studies

Member

Tsugumichi Shibata (Professor, Faculty of Knowledge Engineering), Shinya Hayasaka (Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences), Tetsuya Kubo (Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Yuichi Sueshige (Lecturer, Faculty of Urban Life Studies)

Research outline
We will capture physiological (thirst, fatigue, toilet, prevention of heat illness) and health management needs in the city and develop methods to support people’s activities, such as timely provision of information on the availability of related facilities, using ICT and a sensor network. We will propose a vision for a future city where multiple generations live together by building and examining the social infrastructure that allows people to go out and enjoy themselves in a care-free manner in an urban environment against the backdrop of low birth rate and aging.
Expected research outcomes
The project aims to build a model district in which people of all ages, including the elderly, can go out without worry. We hope to gain insights and operational knowhow by building and testing a sensor network system that displays information on rest space and available toilets in the city. We will examine the precision of data on facilities’ operation and the effects of using information gathered through monitors, by carrying out research into demands related to physiological needs and experiments to test technology. By conducting a field trial in the city, we can test the safety and convenience of urban life, which can be linked to commercialization.

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