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By : Kazunobu Minami

Sustainable cities and architecture. While we are said to be in a period of global environmental protection and making good use of resources, the life of buildings in Japan remains short, and the research into conversion technology remains in its infancy. It has been said that the main reasons for the scrapping of buildings in Japan are not physical or structural factors, but social and economic factors. As cities grow, and a higher density use of the city space becomes necessary, up to now we have continued to simply increase the floor area ratio, tearing down old buildings and replacing them with large highrise buildings. However, the same methods cannot be repeated in the 21st century, because they prevent the ability to develop a sustainable society. A considerable amount of research has already been done into the technology of the elements that increase the life of individual buildings. However, with just the development of technology to increase the life of building structural materials, sustainable architecture cannot be built. Only when cities are sustainable, can buildings, which are the structural elements, become sustainable. However, in Tokyo, because of the acute social and economic changes, the rebuilding of city structures cannot keep up, and only the metabolism of buildings has continued to advance. The research topic that should be addressed by the architectural world in Japan at the beginning of this 21st century is how to build “sustainable cities and architecture.”

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