The 19th Conference of International Development and Urban Planning took place on December 17, 2023 (Sunday) at the Toyohashi University of Technology Satellite Office in a hybrid format, combining in-person and online participation.
The conference aimed to share research findings, facilitate discussions, and exchange information on urban and regional studies targeting areas in Asia, Africa and Japan. This year marks the 19th iteration, and Prof. Shigeru Fukushima of Meijo University has been appointed as the new chair, replacing Dr. Tetsuo Kidokoro, formerly of the University of Tokyo, who served as the chair from 2003, when the first meeting was held, until last year. Under the new chair, five members from industry, government, and academia joined the committee, and the 19th conference was conducted with a new organizational structure. All submitted papers and presentations were conducted in English, providing students and professionals with opportunities to present their research and fostering cross-border research exchanges.
As a pre-event activity on the day before the conference, participants explored Toyokawa Inari, one of Japan's three major Inari shrines, and the surrounding monzen-machi (temple town). The shrine's precincts featured historically significant buildings, and the spectacle of 1,000 fox statues lined up at the Reiko-zuka was impressive. This fieldwork offered an immersive experience of the Toyokawa region, enriched by its local climate and culture.
This year, many studies focused on the Asian region, including China, India, and Thailand, with a wide range of research presentations primarily by international students enrolled in Japanese universities. The Asian region covered comprises Japan, China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, while the African region includes Egypt.
In the morning session, research was presented on topics such as the relationship between subway station entrances and urban environments, the impact of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) on urban spaces, strategies for urbanization, and studies on facility placement for the elderly focusing on the 15-minute city concept, aiming towards a mature society.
The afternoon session included discussions on applying the town development company model of Nagahama City to the revitalization of historic districts in Myanmar, the urban development situation and challenges of smart cities in Thailand, the current state of housing development in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the roles of various organizations in realizing healthy cities.
Throughout the conference, discussions were held from a global perspective, incorporating specific regional case studies, on sustainable urban and regional development and the interplay of social and economic factors, making it a meaningful research presentation event.
This year, after the research presentations, a roundtable session was set up, moderated by Prof. Kojiro Sho of Kyushu University. The session featured discussions with Prof. Shigeru Fukushima, Dr. Tetsuo Kidokoro, Prof. Sadatsugu Nishiura of Meisei University, and Prof. Fumihiko Seta of the University of Tokyo. In this session, Mr. Shigeru Fukushima from Meijo University initiated the discussion by addressing urban planning responses based on future population estimates for the Asian region and providing insights into the future direction of urban and regional development in Asia. Subsequently, drawing on Japan's experience with an aging society, the necessity of exploring urban planning methods for transitioning to a population-declining society in countries of the Global South was discussed.
Finally, Prof. Haruka Ono from Toyohashi University of Technology concluded the event by reflecting on the diverse research achievements across borders, expressing hope for a broader perspective on urban planning in Japan and around the world, and deepening discussions in this field.
The 20th Conference of International Development and Urban Planning for the year 2024 is planned to be held at Okayama University.
Click here for the video of the conference