Newton's Notes

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    Erin Sharp Newton
    Aug 1, '17 2:12 PM EST




    TOKYO, August 1, 2017


    “By 2050 two thirds of the global population will live in cities. Urban health and wellbeing is increasingly becoming part of the remit of urban planners, architects, transport professionals, policymakers, and other citymakers.

    One area that is developing globally is the important link between urban design and community health and wellbeing.

    Cities can make us feel happy, sad, stressed, anxious, well and ill.

    Urban planners & designers are only starting to understand their huge potential value and impact in community mental health and wellbeing.

    So how can we build better community health and wellbeing into our cities?”

    This was the question at today’s conference and the global conversation initiated by the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health and the Health and Global Policy Institute. 

    The Tokyo Conference Speakers and participants crossed the fields from Architecture, to Engineering, to Medicine and Policy.  They explored relevant issues of the aging and disabled, serious policy concerns, utilization of technology as well as creativity in solution making.

     The conference was held in the new LEED platinum coca-cola japan heasquarters building (Tokyo)


    UrbanDesignMH @urbandesignmh                





    Professional Engineer, Licensed Social Worker, Industrial Counselor, Director of the HOPE project and the CSR Project, and contributor to the National Cancer Control Promotion Council, putting emphasis on the importance of urban planning for health and wellbeing.

    Twelve years ago at age 37, Naomi Sakurai was a chief designer at an architectural firm in Tokyo. But her hard-won career trajectory was cut short by illness. Naomi Sakurai was diagnosed with breast cancer.  This is not surprising, considering that half of people in Japan can be expected to contract cancer during their lifetime. In 2011, around 850,000 people were diagnosed with cancer, with about 30 percent of them of working age, (National Cancer Center Data.)

    As a cancer survivor, Naomi organizes projects that support children with cancer and their families. 


    Shigeki Irie graduated from the Department of Architecture at Tokyo City University, and received his MA in Architecture from Graduate School of Tokyo City University before he joined Jun Mitsui & Associates Inc. Architects and Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects Japan, Inc. in 2005. He is a construction designer building offices, commercial facilities, apartments, and international convention centers.

    Mr. Irie works on various projects and design proposals with a mission to develop a sustainable and eco-friendly city where people can enrich their lives with a happy and healthy lifestyle, and keep it safe and comfortable for future generations.

    From large facilities such as Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal, to symbolistic commercial buildings in the heart of the city such as The Ice Cubes (H&M), he specializes in construction proposals with superb design and functionality. His recent work as Project Director includes the new headquarter building of Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd., “Tri-Seven Roppongi,” and Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto.


    Following her graduation from the Department of Engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University, Dr. Kana Hishida received her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Urban Environmental Sciences at Tokyo Metropolitan University where she continues to focus on the development of supportive environments for elderly.

    She joined, and has been working on the development of a dementia-friendly care residence, “Grancreer Setagaya-nakamachi.” This project is cooperated with Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) in the UK, and its mission is to create a sustainable city in today’s super-aging society.

     Tokyo 2017


    President of the National Center of Disaster Mental Health and the Director of the Department of Adult Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP), Japan, affiliated to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. 

    His main fields are: disaster response, and PTSD pathogenesis and dissemination of effective treatment.

    He is the Chief Editor of the National Guideline for Post-Disaster Community Mental Health, the Clinicians’ Manual for Psychological Trauma, the Journal of Traumatic Stress (Japanese), and many other documents and books. He is also the co-founder of the Japanese Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and a board member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

    He has published more than a hundred English articles and books, in addition to many Japanese.

    He graduated from the school of medicine, Kyoto University, in 1984, and studied at the Institute of Psychiatry, London in 1995.  He is a Visiting Professor at Tokyo University, Tohoku University and Yamanashi University. 

    In 1995 He was commended by the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, for his participation in the medical response team in the Hostage Crisis in the Japanese Embassy in Peru. 

    He has been engaged in many international activities including with WHO, United Nations University, and UNICEF.


    Clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor in the Diversity Division of the Center for Diversity and Accessibility, Career Development, University of Tsukuba. He received his Master’s degree at Tokyo Gakugei University and his Doctorate in Disability Sciences at the University of Tsukuba.

    He has been engaging in research around care for both people living with dementia and their carers. His current research fields include: assessment of cognitive impairment, behavioral and psychological symptoms; promoting diversity and social inclusion for people living with dementia; and assessment of dementia-friendly communities in Japan.

    He is a member of both the Dementia Friendly Japan Initiative (DFJI) and World Young Leaders in Dementia (WYLDs).


    Dr. Taro Yokoyama graduated from Saitama Medical University, and now works as a medical oncologist and palliative care doctor at Yokohama Municipal Citizens’ Hospital. In addition to delivering home care, he has conducted clinical trials on early palliative care, contributed to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Sciences Research Team’s Palliative Care Manual and has a personal interest in decision-making in medicine.

    His mission is to create a system where many people, including non-healthcare professionals, can support the patient’s decision-making process in today’s super aging society, taking into account each individual’s personal values. Dr. Yokoyama is also involved the “CO-MINKAN” or privatized community center establishment project for healthy urban development, and supports the development of a simulation of a dementia patient utilizing virtual reality.


    After graduating from Ehime University School of Medicine in 1987, Masaharu Sakoh joined the Department of Neurosurgery at Ehime University and began his career as a neurosurgeon specialising in cerebral stroke treatment. In 2004, he switched his career to brain rehabilitation medicine, recognising the importance of optimizing people’s remaining capacity following a stroke.

    Dr Sakoh was Vice Director of Setagaya Memorial Hospital since 2012, and in March 2017 was appointed as Director of Nerima Ken-ikukai Hospital.

    He pursues his personal interest in rehabilitation through a medical welfare urban development project which aims to create a city that supports rehabilitation for all generations, including the elderly, the handicapped, and families with children, in today’s super-aging society.

    Nerima Ken-ikukai Hospital


    Fumiko Mega holds a Doctorate of Public Affairs from Chiba University, and is a professor in the Department of Social Work, School of Health Sciences at Tokai University. Professor Mega teaches courses in the norms and principles of social welfare, community social work, and volunteering.

    Fumiko’s research interests include how to build (or rebuild) sustainable communities with comfortable and inclusive places for physical and mental health needs. Her hypothesis is alternative intimate spheres should be worked in communities.

    As a community activist with a focus on volunteering, Professor Mega has been involved in numerous organizations and efforts during the last 20 years, including volunteer centers and infrastructure organizations for nonprofits. She has been in charge of managing Japan Volunteer Coordinators Association as a board member whose mission is to empower volunteer coordinators and to enhance their networking and has published many Japanese books and articles about volunteering, volunteer management, and community social work.


    Dr Layla McCay is Director of the British think tank, the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health. She has previously worked at the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the British Government's Department of Health. She was Director of Policy for GAIN, an international nutrition NGO, and Director of the Global Public-Partnership Partnership for Handwashing.

    For the past year she has been a Visiting Researcher at Tokyo Medical and Dental University. A British psychiatrist and international public health specialist, she is an adjunct Professor of international health at Georgetown University, and teaches global health policy at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


    Ryoji Noritake is the President of Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI), a Tokyo-based independent and non-profit health policy think tank established in 2004.

    He also serves as a pro-bono consultant for Project HOPE, a US-based medical humanitarian aid organization. Through HOPE and HGPI, he has led health system strengthening projects in the Asia-Pacific region and engaged in US Navy’s medical humanitarian projects. His focus is a multi-sectoral approach for health issues such as public-private partnerships and civil-military coordination.

    He was a Working Group Member for the World Health Organization’s “Expert Consultation on Impact Assessment as a tool for Multisectoral Action on Health” in 2012.

     He is a graduate of Keio University’s Faculty of Policy Management, holds a MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. And is currently a Visiting Scholar at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

    Ryoji Noritake Urban Sketches:


    Tadamichi Shimogawara is a Board member of the Association of Elderly Housing with Supportive Services, and Secretary of the Elderly Housing Operators Association. He is also CEO of Silver Wood Co., Ltd., founded in 2000 to plan, develop, design, and operate facilities for seniors. Currently, he manages 12 houses for older people, including Ginmokusei, senior housing with supportive services, under the company’s direct management.

    In 2016, he began a project to develop software for a virtual reality simulation of the experience of having dementia.

    Mr. Shimogawara received the “Best Residential Aged Care Award” for his Ginmokusei initiative in 2015, and the “Best Smart Care Technology-Service Award” for his simulation software at the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards in 2017.

    Coca-Cola(Japan)Company, Limited Headquarters Building

       From the Centre for Urban Design & Mental Health


    • M.Nahodil

      Japan's population is 127 million squeezed into the size of California, which is only 39+ million. It's population also enjoys a high life expectancy. 

      Redesigning Tokyo is an ambitious project, but much needed if everyone is to live harmoniously. 

      The country has a highly skilled work force, and among the most highly educated countries in the world, with a high percentage of its citizens holding tertiary education degrees. Who better than the Japanese to tackle the problem of Urban design and well being development?

      I hope that we may learn from them. 

      Aug 2, 17 8:36 am  · 

      http://www.urbandesignmentalhe...Thank you very, very much for the thoughtful comment. 

      Your first sentence makes me think of this article just put out on Density in Japan: 

      Density and Intimacy in Public Space
      A case study of Jimbocho, Tokyo's book town

      Aug 17, 17 1:36 pm  · 

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