Natural Disaster & Urban Life
3rd EU-JAPAN Research Center International Symposium
5 & 6 November 2012
Faculty of Arts, Erasmushuis, room 08.16
In recent years, natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, storm surges, heavy rain and tornadoes have occurred frequently in many parts of the world, resulting in the loss of many lives and property. The scale of calamities such as earthquakes caused by tremors in the earth’s crust and movements along fault lines, or tsunami generated by earthquakes, are increasing alarmingly in pace with the advance of urbanization, leading to unprecedented complex disasters. In addition, explosive population growth and mass consumption of fossil fuels and other energy sources are indirect causes which contribute to localized ‘guerilla’ rainfalls and tornadoes striking cities and resulting instantly in the accumulated loss of social and personal capital.
Mature cities have built up cultural legacies and natural heritages over the years which improve the ‘quality of life’ and are essential factors contributing to its riches. It is a major responsibility of the present generation to protect these assets from various risks and hand them down to future generations.
In view of the current situation, the Japan-EU Research Center of Kansai University is organizing a symposium on ‘Natural Disaster and Urban Life’ at the University of Leuven to discuss the various ways natural catastrophes shape human life. The symposium will mainly focus on disaster situations resulting from torrential rains and earthquakes and is welcoming a number of renowned researchers from Europe and Japan to lecture on how urban life is jeopardized by such fatalities, where in society the potential risks of these disasters are concealed and to what extent they are becoming increasingly apparent. The lectures will be followed by a panel discussion of experts addressing the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 and its effects on present life in Japanese society.
More information and the programme can be found on http://japanologie.arts.kuleuven.be/en/node/9746