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Program Overview
Message Objective Organization Program Members


Problems in Asian megacities1

In 2007, twenty one megacities are in the world. In Asia, eleven cities, two billion people live. Within next 15 years, the population increase 65%, and South East Asian region, it becomes 170%.
Such urban population expansion and unmatched urban managements to these changes cause insufficient and unreliable urban services, environmental deterioration, and increase of hazard risks, which threat human security significantly.

1Megacities are often defined as urban areas with populations greater than 10 million. However, in this GCOE program, we do not limit to this definition, including also cities that display various aspects resulting from high population density.

World Megacities 2010
Rank City Country Population
1 Tokyo Japan 34,000,000
2 Canton China 24,200,000
3 Seoul Korea 24,200,000
4 Mexico City Mexico 23,400,000
5 Delhi India 23,200,000
6 Bombay India 22,800,000
7 New York United States 22,200,000
8 Sao Paulo Brazil 20,900,000
9 Manila Phillippines 19,600,000
10 Shanghai China 18,400,000
11 Los Angeles United States 17,900,000
12 Osaka Japan 16,800,000
13 Calcutta India 16,300,000
14 Karachi Pakistan 16,200,000
15 Jakarta Indonesia 15,400,000
16 Cairo Egypt 15,200,000
17 Beijing China 13,600,000
17 Dacca Bangladesh 13,600,000
17 Moscow Russia 13,600,000
20 Buenos Aires Argentina 13,300,000
21 Istanbul Turkey 12,800,000
21 Tehran Iran 12,800,000
23 Rio de Janeiro Brazil 12,600,000
24 London Great Britain 12,400,000

Thomas Brinkhoff: City Population,

Establishing the discipline of "Urban Human Security Engineering"

We define "Urban Human Security Engineering" as a system of technologies (techniques) for designing and managing cities that enable inhabitants to live under better public health conditions, and also live free from potential threats of large-scale disasters and environmental destruction, as listed in the Millennium Development Goals. For establishing this discipline, four existing fields, i.e. city governance, city infrastructure management, health risk management, and disaster risk management, are integrated into one discipline. Specifically, problem-solving education and research will be conducted on Asian megacities with emphasis on three key points: (1) active incorporation of strong local orientation and suitable local characteristics; (2) co-evolution of engineering technologies, urban administrative management, and system creation; and (3) inclusion of multilayered governance with various actors having different interests and values. By contributing to solving problems in Asian cities, social effectiveness of the methodology will be verified as a “MODE 2” discipline1. Also, we will disseminate the information on this new discipline globally through publication of a textbook series in English language.
1Trans-disciplinary science in the one, where problems are defined according to social application (Michael Gibbons, 1997)

Education of next-generation researchers and high-level practitioners for human security in Asia

We will foster next-generation researchers and high-level practitioners through a network of international education and research bases. We will greatly contribute to solving of human security issues by providing roadmaps to escape from the threats mentioned above, and concrete city management strategies for several Megacities. More specifically, this GCOE program will

  1. Establish a network of overseas bases
  2. Establish a new doctoral program
  3. Implement key joint research projects
  4. Organize many international symposia and workshops

Establish "Urban Human Security Engineering Education and Research Center"

By posing specific challenges in human security, it is expected that civil engineering, architecture, environmental engineering, and disaster prevention research will realize their effectiveness and social usefulness, and then our program will create a new and worldwide academic trend as "human security engineering triggered by Asia" including city management and governance, beyond the boundary of engineering.