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The 18th Conference of International Development and Urban Planning held

 The 18th Conference of International Development and Urban Planning was held on Sunday, December 11, 2022, at Ito Campus of Kyushu University in a hybrid style of both on-site participation online participation using ZOOM.

 This conference is organized by the Asian and African City Planning Group, a subcommittee of the City Planning Institute of Japan, and is the 18th of its kind since its inception in 2003 as The Conference of Asian City Planning. The purpose of the conference is to exchange research and information through discussions and reports of research results on urban planning in developing countries in Asia and Africa, as well as related areas in Japan. Many presentations were made by young researchers affiliated with Japanese graduate schools, and the conference provided an opportunity for them to make presentations in English, as well as to network with other researchers horizontally and vertically. In response to the recent increase in the number of research presentations focusing on Africa, the conference was renamed the “Conference of International Development and Urban Planning” in 2017. In addition, the number of presentations by Japanese presenters and practitioners has been increasing, and more diverse and active research exchange is expected in the future.

 This year, as a pre-event, a field trip to the Itoshima Peninsula, where this year's host university, Kyushu University, is located, was conducted with committee members as the main participants on the day before the conference. On the day of the conference, a total of 25 papers were presented, mainly from Asia (Indonesia, China, Singapore, Cambodia, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, India), Africa (Madagascar, Ghana, Zimbabwe), and other countries including the United States and Italy. A total of 54 researchers and practitioners presented their research, including 25 papers and co-authors.

 In addition, this year, a new session was set up before the research presentations. Dr. Kozue Kashiwazaki of Toyo University served as the moderator, and Dr. Kojiro Sho of Kyushu University, the host university, first provided information about the presentation time and venue.

 The welcome speech was given by Prof. Tetsuo Kidokoro, Chair of Asian and African City Planning Group with the theme of “The Planetary East and South: Diverse Societies under Planetary Challenges”, addressing the current situation of urban disparities at the global level. Next, Prof. Shenglin Chang, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, gave a keynote speech on the theme of “Rural Social Design and Bi-gration,” and talked about the development of rural community revitalization through the cultivation of young talents centering on the tea industry in rural areas of Taiwan. A panel discussion was then held with five speakers, including the above two speakers and Professor Emeritus Sangkyung An of Toyo University, Professor Sadatsugu Nishiura of Meisei University, and Professor Takeshi Kurose of Kyushu University.

 Research presentations from the afternoon focused on metropolitan areas covered a variety of topics including, case studies on the introduction of cutting-edge planning tools such as smart cities, advanced planning systems, and the process of urbanization with a focus on metropolitan areas; reorganization of public transportation systems to accommodate urbanization and the actual state of public space development; the state of utilization of street pedestrian spaces; the realities of urbanization and poor neighborhoods, and the infrastructure and environmental improvements realized through community participation. On the other hand, research presentations on rural areas also covered a wide range of topics, including community revitalization through ecotourism, renovation and art activities, and the history of the formation of traditional village structures. There were also examples of responses to natural disasters that have occurred around the world, including shelter planning and studies focusing on adaptation measures for disadvantaged households overseas. This year's participants included committee members, presenters, and the general public, totaling about 70 people.

 The venue for the 19th conference in 2023 has not yet been decided (while Toyohashi University of Technology is a potential host), but it is expected to be held in a hybrid style as this year. In the closing address after the presentations, Dr. Haruka Ono of Toyohashi University of Technology summarized the results of this year's presentations and concluded the expectation toward further face-to-face presentations and discussions based on the results of overseas surveys and analyses in the future.

 Click here for the video of the conference


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