The II Symposium on Sustainable Urban Regeneration in Japan took place at the University at Albany on Saturday, February 11, 2017. The purpose of this symposium was to reflect on the history, culture, civilizational and societal trends, as well as current urban regeneration initiatives in Japan. The Symposium had the participation of scholars from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley (Dr. Joshua Roth) and Harvard University (Mr. Adam Tanaka), in addition to UAlbany faculty (Dr. Akiko Hosler and Dr. Carlos Balsas), administration (Associate Dean Dr. Susanna Fessler), and students (Ms. Hui Lin and Mr. Christopher Burke).
This Symposium followed an earlier Symposium also organized by Dr. Carlos Balsas at Arizona State University in the mid-2000s. Participants seemed to have appreciated the interdisciplinarity of the presentations and the mix of students (undergraduate, Masters and Ph.D.) with faculty in different fields of specialization, but with common interests on Japanese societal development.
Albany’s relative proximity to New York City enabled us to reflect on the parallels and differences between Japan and the U.S., with special emphasis to New York State, in terms of for instance: Countryside and rural preservation, urbanization and de-industrialization trends, natural disaster preparedness and recovery, societal and demographic developments (e.g. aging, low natality rates, and shrinking cities), urban regeneration programs, transportation, consumption, megapolitan transformations, urban and regional planning, and territorial infrastructure development.
The Symposium also included an afternoon visit to The Clark Art Institute’s exhibit “Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection” in Williamstown, MA. We thank the Department of Geography and Planning as well as the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their sponsorship.
Funding provided by J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York and the Department of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany.
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