What is the mobility of Tochigi for the future?

Akinori Morimoto, Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University

The infrastructure development of LRT, next generation tram handled by Utsunomiya City, Haga Town and Utsunomiya Light Rail started with an aim to start its operation in March 2022.
How will the mobility of Utsunomiya City and the surrounding cities, locals’ life style and the shape of the city be changed?

Professor Morimoto involved in the LRT project as an academic expert sees the long-term future vision of the city.

Depopulated regions usually aim to be a “Network-Based Compact City”.

Expanded city structure and social infrastructures such as roads and bridges must be minimized to the actual population.
For Utsunomiya City, focusing on the development of attractive next generation transportation, it gradually changes the shape of city and develops a sustainable city.

“If the changes in Utsunomiya City influence the central area of the prefecture and the network between the north area and the south area is established, we can expect the entire Tochigi to be a “chosen region”. City planning is an operation of handing-over. Make the most of its legacies to establish a potential city for the future. To achieve it, the necessary procedures should be performed now.”

Professor Morimoto continues his effort to visualize the future of city utilizing advanced technologies to let the locals understand.


Akinori Morimoto

Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University.
Born in 1964 in Yamaguchi. Graduated from the Graduate School of Waseda University in 1989.
After experiencing an assistant at Waseda University, an assistant, an associate professor and a professor at Utsunomiya University, and a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, appointed to the present position in 2014.