The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

The University of Tokyo, Department of Urban Engineering, Urban Design Lab Associate Professor Aya Kubota

Proposal of reconstruction urban design based on the traditions and culture of Otsuchicho

Research grant

Project Description

The purpose of this project is to conduct research on the traditions, culture, and features of Otsuchicho, Iwate Prefecture and make proposals for reconstruction and urban design for the building of attractive communities rooted in the individuality of the land. The research will clarify aspects such as the forms of spaces where people gathered before the earthquake and how they were used, ways of living taking advantage of springs, the routes of parades during festival and how roadside spaces were used, common cultures and traditions across a broad cultural area, and design codes. When conducting this research, we will clarify not only the situation before and after the earthquake, but also historical changes and intentions towards future use by stakeholders including residents, owners, and users, and we will make proposals on future reconstruction urban design.

Grant year
FY2011 Research Grants
Grant term
2 years
April 2012 - March 2014
Grant amount
7,602,000 yen
Activity region
Otsuchi Village, Iwate Prefecture, Japan
Opening of a memories salon using a machiya house that survived the tsunami in Kirikiri, Otsuchicho

Overview of the Organization

Associate Professor Aya Kubota
Associate Professor Aya Kubota
Specialist field
Urban engineering, urban design
Affiliated academic societies
Architectural Institute of Japan, The City Planning Institute of Japan, Association of Urban Housing Sciences, Japan Association for Real Estate Sciences
Graduated from the Department of Urban Engineering, the University of Tokyo in 1991, acquired a Ph.D from the School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo in 1993, and worked in urban design operations at Artep Co., Ltd. Subsequently, she completed a major in historical environmental conservation at Colombia University Graduate School, acquired a Ph.D from Tokyo University Graduate School, served as an assistant for The University of Tokyo Urban Design Lab, Kogakuin University Department of Architecture and Urban Design Associate Professor, and other positions, and she has served at her current position since 2008. Has a doctorate in engineering and is a Qualified Architect of the First Class.
Collaborating researchers
Akiko Tanaka (The Tokyo Institute for Municipal Research), Yu Okamura (Tokyo Metropolitan University), Setsuji Nagase (Wakayama University), Taku Nohara (Yokohama National University), Takeshi Kurose, Tomoko Mori, Yuya Ogiwara, Kaoru Fukushi (The University of Tokyo)
Research record
  • @ Research on the historical environmental conservation in cities: Conducted practical activities with regional residents and administration staff members in areas including Tomonoura (Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture), Sawara (Katori City, Chiba Prefecture), Kagurazaka (Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo), and drew conclusions from these activities.
  • A Aya Kubota, 2011, Cultural Landscape Brings Complicated Issues Beyond Community Development, Asian Planning Schools Association, Selected Papers, pp.343-350
  • B Research on frameworks and systems for realizing urban design based on the initiatives above: Aya Kubota, 2012, "0-2 Community building council: Citizen participation and consensus forming" pp19-24, "Chapter 2 Community building center: Participation and support structure" pp49-52, contained in "Urban Design Center - Building Open Communities" edited by Urban Design Center Research Institute, Rikoh Tosho