Disaster Humanities and Social Science Division
Spatial Design Strategies Lab
Associate Professor

Concurrent: Graduate School of Engineering
Research Subject(s)
My research focuses on the design of civil engineering structures and landscape design in the disaster-affected areas to enhance their attractiveness and sustainability in the recovery process. Our research is based on the basic theory of cognitive science to understand people's perception of landscape.
Key Words
Architecture of infrastructure and environment / Street and town scape / environmental psychology
Research Activities

There are many challenges in the reconstruction of the city. I am working on the reconstruction of the entire Ishinomaki City and the central area of Onagawa Town (see photo) with a focus on well designed public spaces, in order to make the city as high quality and sustainable as possible even in an era of demographic declining while clearing those issues. These practical activities have brought out the challenges of the reconstruction system and modern urban development.

What forms the basis of the landscape of the disaster area is "nature" and social infrastructure such as roads, levees, and flood gates. Such social infrastructure facilities must be designed to be easy to use, comfortable, and to fit in with the surrounding landscape, but they must also be designed to have a good relationship with the city. In order to raise the level of the landscape in the disaster-affected areas, I am working on civil engineering designs such as the river embankment in Ishinomaki (see photo), the Takata Matsubara Tsunami reconstruction memorial Park, and the Yuriage River Town Development project. I have been exploring the logic of form and spatial perception, as well as the institutional logic behind the realization of such designs.

Our perception of landscapes and cities is complex and diverse. Therefore, we need to deepen our understanding of them by separating them appropriately to find the essence. For example, it is necessary to advance the research by assuming the order and hierarchy of recognition as shown in the figure even if it is an impression formation of one space. Recently, I have been deepening my research by expanding the scope of my research to include the recognition of relationships between multiple objects and spaces in order to describe more sophisticated spatial experiences.

Selected Works

Hirano,K.(2013).Difficulties In Post-Tsunami Reconstruction Plan Following Japan's 3.11 Mega Disaster: Dilemma Between Protection And Sustainability, Journal of Japan Society for Civil Engineers, Vol.1 No.1 pp1-11, 2013,doi:10.2208/journalofjsce.1.1_1

Hirano, K. (2014) The Pathology of This Country in the Reconstruction of City Planning, Urban Planning Association of Japan Bulletin, Vol.68, No.3 (March 2014), pp.42-44

Hirano, K et al. (2019) A Study on Characteristics of Evaluation of Landscape Containing Wind Turbines Focusing on Schema, Journal of JSCE, D1 (Architecture of Infrastructure and Environment) Vol. 75, No. 1, pp28-35, doi:10.2208/jscejaie.75.28

Hirano,K. Kato,Y. (2019) Station Grade System and Its Operation in the Pre-War Railway in Japan, Journal of JSCE D2 (Historical Studies in Civil Engineering) Vol.75,No.1,pp1-12,doi:10.2208/jscejhsce.75.1

Hirano, K. et al. (2016) The Relation between Street Image and Cognitive Characteristics of People in a Street, Journal of JSCE D1(Architecture of Infrastructure and Environment) Vol. 72,No.1,pp13-23, doi:10.2208/jscejaie.72.13

Selected Memberships
  • Japan Society of Civil Engineers
  • The City Planning Institute of Japan
  • Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture
  • Groundscape Design Institute
  • Engineer Architect Association
Selected Awards
  • Urban Landscape Award (Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation) "Onagawa Station Renga-Michi (Brick street) Area" 2018
  • Civil Engineering Design Prize, JSCE Encouragement Award "Tsukihama No.1 Water Gate" 2017