I am researching methods for planning and supplying public housing for the formation of compact cities, targeting municipalities in Hokkaido and Tohoku, where the population is currently declining rapidly. In February 2019, I stayed at the Pacific National University in Khabarovsk, Russia for a week, and presented my thesis. In Russia, there are challenges in the future management of aging public housing, so many people had great interest and the social significance of the research. From this experience, research aimed at solving problems related to urban environment and development due to population decline is important not only in Japan but also in regions where population decline will become more serious in the future, and we will collaborate in all regions. I have become strongly aware that I am required to act toward a solution. Therefore, by continuing to work on the RJE3 program, I want to have an opportunity to learn and think about sustainable development by myself, not only in Japan but also in the Far East and the Arctic Circle.
Unlike usual years, both classes and workshops were held online, so I was worried that I would not be able to share information and communicate well with other students. Since the lecture videos had slide materials with scripts, I could understand the lectures contents smoothly, and I could watch the videos whenever I wanted, so I was able to take the lectures efficiently. On the other hand, in the group work, I was able to discuss the theme within a limited time and summarize the results as PowerPoint. I felt a great sense of accomplishment. As a group work leader, I will be in charge of gathering opinions and supervising PowerPoint creation.
At first, I couldn’t get in touch with group members at all, so I proceeded with a group work with another student from Hokkaido University to solidify the composition of the slides and the content of the discussion, but I was able to get in touch with other members safely. Students pointed out the contents of the prototype slides and gave some advice on points that should be supplemented from their own specialty, so that we could think together. I was able to get a very exciting opportunity though the group work.
In particular, in conclusion, from a student studying the development of the Far East area, as a concrete proposal, a supplementary explanation was added about the necessity of constructing the Northern Sea Route and the necessity of considering the balance between its convenience and environmental risk. I received the advice. His proposal, based on his academic knowledge and experience, allows us to discover new aspects that we do not have, which is very impressive.
It has been said that collaboration with different fields is indispensable for solving problems for a sustainable society, and I felt that way. Through this group work, I learned that it is important to share issues with a common understanding in order to achieve one result with students from different cultures and specialties. By clarifying what we need to discuss on the subject of sustainability, which has many aspects and is intertwined with complex issues, each person thinks about it in various ways. This made us possible to discuss. In the future, I need to take action on the relationship with the Far East and the Arctic Circle, including Russia, while cooperating with each other independently as a region that has the same archaeological cultural roots and uses close environmental resources. As a starting point, I hope that what I learned from this RJE3 program will develop for sustainability.