Nagoya University Global COE Program: From Earth System Science to Basic and Clinical Environmental Studies


Program Members


Position, Department Professor, Department of Social and Human Environment, Graduate School of Environmental Studies
Office Room 617, Environmental Studies Hall
Homepage Lab HP
Research Keywords Geography, Spatial Perception, Temporal Geography, Activity Space


The Ise-wan Basin will be the main focal field work for research in Clinical Environmental Studies. This zone, along with the Yangtze River delta and the Vientiane plains, is located in an Asian monsoon rice-producing region; each area has been subject to various levels of urbanization. I will be comparing the impact of urbanization on the environment at these three sites.

Research Themes

When considering optimal regional environmental planning, the very first step is to understand the reality of the everyday lifestyle of the local community. However, there is a distinct lack of research, based on accurate data, able to show the spaces in which human activities occur, the temporal processes through which they develop, and the problems that exist therein; there is also a lack of relevant theorization. As such, since 1990 I have conducted surveys in four urban centers in Japan, looking at the formation of activity space through concepts of temporal and spatial order, and have developed theories accordingly. In collaboration with Chinese researchers, I have conducted survey and analysis of 4 urban centers in China. Additionally, since 2005 I have been conducting surveys in agricultural village communities near the Laotian capital, studying the impact of the introduction of a free market economy and accompanying urbanization on the living spaces of village communities.


Mar 1984 Withdraw from Doctoral Course, Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University (awarded on credits)
Apr 1988 Research Fellowship, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Oct 1988 Research Associate, School of Letters, Nagoya University
Apr 1991 Lecturer, Faculty of Sociology, Toyo University
Apr 1993 Associate Professor, School of Letters, Nagoya University
Apr 2001 Professor, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University (current position)
Apr 2003 Joint Researcher, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (until Mar 2008)

Papers & Publications

  • Arai,Y., Okamoto,K., Tahara,Y. and Chai,Y.(2008): Activity Space in Urban China. Kyoto Nakanishiya, 192p (in Japanese)
  • Okamoto,K., Wakabayashi,Y. and Teramoto,K.(2006): The Handicapped and the City: geographical and psychological approaches. Tokyo:Kokon-Shoin, 208p (in Japanese)
  • Okamoto,K.(2000): Cognition and Behavior in Urban Space. Tokyo:Kokon-Shoin, 288p (in Japanese)
  • Arai,Y., Okamoto,K., Kamiya,H. and Kawaguchi,T. (1996): Space and Time in the City. Tokyo:Kokon-Shoin, 205.p (in Japanese)
  • Nakamura,Y. and Okamoto,K.(1993): Invitation to Mental Map Study. Tokyo:Kokon-Shoin, 146p (in Japanese)

Lecture Courses Taught

Seminar on Geography, Seminar on Geographical History and Thought, Economic Geography (Graduate)
Readings in Geography, Fieldworks on Geography, Survey of Geography, Specialized Studies in Geography (Undergraduate)
Geography (General Education)

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