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This Center is called "4-Met," which is an abbreviation for "Meta-technology Center for Metropolitan Metamorphosis Methods." The words "for Metropolitan" symbolize the research staff's commitment to Tokyo, which is officially referred to as the "Tokyo Metropolitan Area."
Formation of 4-Met Center

In Tokyo, as in many of the world's major cities, the accumulation of building stocks during the second half of the 20th century was accompanied by qualitative changes over time. Today, those building stocks are both massive and diverse, and their utilization has become a crucial issue in Japan's rapidly maturing major cities. The same challenge will confront major cities in Asia and throughout the world.

This COE will be established in Tokyo, which typifies this issue. Its role will be to conduct world-class research into methods to utilize and enhance the functionality of building stocks accumulated during the second half of the 20th century, to activate and renew those stocks, and to develop the human resources required to conduct such research.

The diversity of building stocks is a challenge that will require individualized solutions, rather than the clear but simplistic and standardized solutions that are commonly seen in conventional architectural engineering. The solutions also need to be universal rather than specific, and they must be adapted for general application. The goal of the COE is to rebuild the framework for new approaches to architectural engineering in the 21st century by disseminating the results of this work.

The research and education methods used for this purpose will be based on collaboration among the various fields of architectural engineering. Specific buildings will be targeted for research linked to project implementation. This approach is designed to make greater use of Japan's advantage in architectural research and education, resulting from the development of architecture in Japan as general engineering, in contrast with the way in which architecture has evolved in the United Kingdom, France, the United States and other countries.

From a research perspective, the aim is to rebuild a genuinely comprehensive framework for architectural engineering, using an approach that might be called "urban architecture time-space diversity harmonization engineering." This will be achieved through the practical implementation of cutting-edge stock utilization projects. From an educational perspective, project implementation will be used to train experts with broad perspectives and practical skills, backed by advanced specialist capabilities. In this way, we hope to spread the wings of traditional doctorate programs. This stance calls for the linkage of project results to the creation of excellent theses. The objective is to develop human resources with "T-shaped" capabilities, in which deep expertise forms the upright, and broad perspectives combined with comprehensive practical skills form the cross-bar.

This program will result in the creation of a Center of Excellence called the "Meta-technology Center for Metropolitan Metamorphosis Methods" ("4-Met Center"). The 4-Met Center will offer cities throughout the world the results of its research, in the form of innovative and attractive renewal projects, together with knowledge and technologies gained through that process, as information that can be applied repeatedly in cities that face similar problems. The young researchers and experts associated with the 4-Met Center will gain advanced capabilities and will be able to take pride in this experience as they undertake other research or work in industry in the future.

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