A Short Note for Dr. Kobayashi’s Review in 1974
Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology
When the following review was written by Dr. Kobayashi in the mid 1970s, seismic microzoning was a new research field in earthquake engineering. The significance of seismic microzoning was comprehensively discussed at an international conference in 1972, after which the seismic microzoning concept came into common recognition and was disseminated into the academic community. Dr. Kobayashi reported on the status of seismic microzoning early on and conducted pioneering work on seismic microzoning in Tokyo. He concluded that “The techniques mentioned in this paper are not yet completed, but urban planning would benefit greatly by the incorporation of these techniques.” At that time, his techniques were just being adopted in seismic microzoning studies by the city of Kawasaki. Together with other techniques for evaluating earthquake fire and casualties, the city continued a comprehensive seismic rnicrozoning study, and revised its earthquake disaster plan in the late 1970s. During the same period, several other cities and prefectures conducted seismic microzoning studies. Dr. Kobayashi stated that “Seismic microzoning is directed not only to the safety of building structures but also the economic planning of the urban area.” Many of the areas, however, had already been urbanized, and redeveloping of urban areas requires long, sustained efforts. In their comprehensive disaster plan based on seismic microzoning studies, governments included longterm programs for redeveloping districts with disorganized and high concentrations of wooden housing. These studies have had a slow but steady influence on urban planning, and Dr. Kobayashi’s statements on seismic microzoning seem to have been substantially realized.