Special Issue on “Urban Resilience” for Mega Earthquake Disasters
Haruo Hayashi and Shingo Suzuki
Tokyo Metropolitan Earthquake and Nankai Trough Earthquakes predicted to hit Japan in the near future makes it urgent that the impact of urban earthquake disasters be reduced by every means possible.
To promote research to this end, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan launched a Special Project for Reducing Vulnerability for UrbanMega Earthquake Disasters in 2012 as a five-year R&D effort embracing three academic disciplines – earth and physical sciences, structural engineering, and social sciences. This project in turn consists of three subprojects – Subproject on the earthquake hazard mechanism and risk evaluation of southern Kanto region, Subproject to develop rapid damage assessment and recovery technology of urban function, and Subproject to develop resilient society improving disaster management competence.
This special issue features findings and achievements from this last subproject, whose goal is to enhance society’s resilience based on the experiences and lessons of the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster that crippled Kobe, the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster that prostrated Japan’s northeastern Pacific coast and other such disasters.
Concretely speaking, by integrating the wisdom of disaster management researchers nationwide and collaborating with other subprojects, this subproject proposes disseminating disaster information technologies and training methodologies to build up disaster preparedness. This, in turn, is aided by improving disaster literacy and competence among both the general public and disaster management personnel.
Focusing on the three major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, where two-thirds of Japan’s population and three-fourths of the nation’s total assets are concentrated, Web-based disaster information management and dissemination services are being proposed and examined for effectiveness through demonstration experiments and social implementation.
In this issue of JDR, we are introducing 11 papers and reports from researchers involved in this subproject to present initial interim findings and progress during the first half of this five-year effort. In doing so, the authors and editors of this issue gratefully acknowledge the generous financial support of MEXT in these studies.