Various climate-change related risks such as disasters, water and food shortage, etc. are mainly concentrated in urban areas. In particular, social infrastructure contributing to urban risk mitigation is not in place in most informal settlements (i.e., slums), where about 30% of the world’s urban population live. On the other hand, partially because population inflows from surrounding rural areas lead to further expansion of informal settlements, it is important to support not only urban development, but also rural development at the same time.

These urban and rural issues are one of the central issues to be resolved towards achieving “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” presented at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. Although various countermeasures have been discussed by practitioners and researchers across disciplines and fields, there are still many challenges for better policy decisions. First, there is a great lack of understanding on the preferences and behavior of residents who live in disadvantaged areas where social infrastructure is not well developed. There are a number of cases where policy judgment based on the “stereotype” understanding has resulted in worsening the situation. Second, there is a growing possibility to install next generation smart infrastructure, which can be inexpensive and efficient. In particular, it is required to utilize appropriate technologies tailored to the problems of each region, rather than a uniform introduction of advanced technologies which tends to become overqualified.

Given the above concerns, “Infrastructure Planning and Urban Risk Management Laboratory”, under the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, is currently studying on the reduction of poverty and disaster risk in urban informal settlements, social implementation of next generation infrastructure in disadvantaged areas, and evaluating the impacts of smart infrastructure. Our research interests span a wide range of disciplines and we emphasize cross-disciplinary and quantitative approaches, while the conceptual/theoretical foundation underlying and underpinning our works is human behavior modeling. For theories/methodologies, we are particularly interested in:

* Activity-travel behavior analysis
* Causal inference
* Big data analysis
* Infrastructure system design

Based on these theories/methodologies, we have been doing research (1) for a better understanding of activity-travel behavior of the people who live in disadvantaged areas including slums in Mumbai, disaster prone areas of Bangladesh, and rural areas in Japan, (2) to assess the social impacts of urban and transportation infrastructure development in cities in developing countries including India, Vietnam, and Indonesia, (3) to explore the possibility of introducing new infrastructure system such as automatic driving system and mobility sharing services.

Infrastructure planning is usually considered as one branch of Engineering, but we believe it is more than that: it would contribute to the alleviation of conflicts caused by disadvantaged conditions and thus it is a part of peace studies in a broad sense. We would like to continue our research without losing such fundamental social value of infrastructure.

We particularly welcome students who are interested in the development of the theory and methodology concerning activity-travel behavior, have a strong interest in appropriate social implementation of new technologies, and who want to contribute to solving problems in disadvantaged areas.

 

気候変動に伴う災害や水・食糧不足等の様々なリスクは主に都市部に集中しています.中でも,世界の都市人口の約3割が住む非正規居住地区(スラム)は,基本的なリスク軽減につながる社会インフラが整っていない状況にあります.一方,スラムよりもさらに条件が不利な周辺農村地域からの人口流入が非正規居住地区の拡大につながっていることから,都市だけでなく農村の開発を同時に進めることが重要になります.

以上の都市部及び農村部の問題は,2015年の国連サミットにて提示された「持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)」の達成に向けて解決すべき中心的問題の一つです.様々な対策が多くの分野にまたがる実務家・研究者により議論されてきましたが,より良い問題解決策の提案に向けて検討すべき課題が多く残されています.第一に,社会インフラが十分に整備されていない条件不利地域の住民の選好や生活行動の理解が大きく不足している点が挙げられます.ステレオタイプな理解に基づく政策判断が結果的に事態を悪化させている事例が数多く存在します.第二に,新たな技術を用いた次世代インフラの社会実装が可能になりつつある今,安価かつ効率的な社会インフラを整備できる可能性が高まっています.特に,オーバースペックになりがちな先端技術の画一的な導入ではなく,各地の抱える問題に合わせた適切な技術の活用が求められています.

広島大学大学院国際協力研究科「社会基盤計画と都市リスク管理研究室」では,以上の問題意識のもと,社会基盤計画の中でもとりわけ生活・交通行動分析に関する理論的・方法論的研究を下敷きに,都市の貧困や災害リスクの軽減,条件不利地域における次世代インフラの社会実装,インフラのスマート化に関する実践・実証研究に取り組んでいます.

理論的・方法論的研究としては,特に以下のテーマに関心を持っています.

  • 生活・交通行動分析手法
  • 統計的因果推論
  • 各種ビッグデータの解析
  • インフラシステムのデザイン

以上の理論・方法論的研究をベースに,これまでに,条件不利地域の生活・交通行動分析を通じた現象理解,途上国都市における都市・交通インフラ整備の社会的影響評価,日本の地方都市・過疎地域における自動運転システムの社会的影響評価,条件不利地域におけるシェアリングサービスのデザインなどに取り組んできています.社会基盤計画は一般的には工学の一分野として位置づけられますが,条件が不利であることに由来して生じるコンフリクトの解消につながるという意味において重要な平和研究の一つであり,そのような社会的意義を忘れずに研究を進めていきたいと考えています.

本研究室は,生活・交通行動分析に関する理論・方法論の発展に関心を持つ方,新たな技術の適切な社会実装に強い関心を持つ方,条件不利地域における問題解決に貢献したい方を歓迎します.