Pre-reconstruction Plans for Urban Areas in Japan



Since ancient times, Japan’s urban areas have suffered from a variety of natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires and floods. This can be attributed to the specific geographic and cultural conditions of the country, in particular the frequency of earthquakes combined with the large number and density of wooden houses. Particularly since the Edo period (1600–1867), when cities expanded due to various political and economic forces, there have been a number of disasters, demonstrating the vulnerability associated with high urban densities. Such events include the Great Fire of Meireki of 1657, the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and the Great Tokyo Air Raid of 1945. In these cases conflagrations caused enormous damage to urban areas, each claiming around 100,000 victims. The Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake that occurred in 1995 and the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 also caused widespread damage to entire urban areas through the collapse of buildings, the tsunami that followed and the nuclear incident at Fukushima. In response to such large-scale disasters that can destroy cities, efforts have been made to actively draft pre-reconstruction plans in order to facilitate speedy urban reconstruction. While the aims of these pre-reconstruction plans may be diverse, the primary focus is on: (i) imagining the circumstances of reconstruction, (ii) making projections on the systems and plans that will be required for reconstruction, and (iii) fostering awareness of the need for preventative measures when considering reconstruction, while providing details about such.


  1. Hiroi, U. (2015). Post-earthquake fire estimation method using hierarchical Bayesian models and its application. Journal of Social Safety Science, Institute of Social Safety Science, 27, 303–311.Google Scholar
  2. Hiroi, U., Murayama, A., Chiba, Y., Komatsu, H., Mori, M., Yamada, K., et al. (2015). A proposal of multi-scale urban disaster mitigation planning that takes regional issues into consideration. Journal of Disaster Research, 10(5), 887–899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hiroi, U., Oomori, T., & Shinkai, H. (2016). Evacuation simulation in metropolitan area and risk maps of heavy traffic and crowd in catastrophic disaster. The Journal of JAEE, Japan Association for Earthquake Engineering, 16(5), 111–126.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urban Engineering, School of EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations