Kato, Sadahisa

Research Associate

  • Sadahisa Kato
    UNU Center, 53-70, Jingumae 5-chome, Shibuya-ku 150-8925, Tokyo
    +81 (0)3-5467-1212

    Research Interests

    • Ecological planning and design
    • Land use planning
    • Landscape ecology


    • B.S. (with Distinction), Resource Ecology and Management, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
    • M.L.A, Landscape Architecture, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
    • PhD, Ecological Planning, University of Massachusetts Amherst

    Biographical Statement

    Sadahisa “Sada” Kato holds a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA, in ecological planning – the application of ecological theories and concepts to landscape planning and design. Sada has an interdisciplinary academic background: terrestrial ecosystem ecology and management (BS), landscape architecture, emphasizing designing functional and aesthetically-pleasing landscape (MLA), and applying landscape ecological theories and concepts to greenspace conservation planning in urban regions (Ph.D.). His land use planning and design is solidly based on the science of landscape ecology and conservation ecology, thus serving the development of sustainable landscapes that intend to protect, restore, and/or manage biodiversity and ecosystem services. Some professors who have influenced his thinking are Burt Barnes (forest ecology), Joan Nassauer (ecological design), Kevin McGarigal (landscape ecology and multivariate statistics), and Jack Ahern (ecological planning), of greenway research fame.

    Before coming to UNU in March 2014, Sada served as Chapter Scientist for the IPCC 5th Assessment Report, assisting Nobuo Mimura, Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter on climate change adaptation planning and implementation in the Working Group II contribution to the 5th Assessment Report. During his 2.5-year tenure, he has gained extensive knowledge on climate change research, particularly on climate change adaptation.

    Sada has also previously worked as an administrative officer for the government of Aichi prefecture in Japan. While this experience was brief (1.5-years), it provided him with an understanding and appreciation for administrative work.

    Sada supervises and conducts collaborative research with like-minded Masters’s and Ph.D. students, whose interest is in applying ecological theories and concepts to developing ecologically functional land use, planning, and design.

  • Peer-reviewed Books

    • Posto-Shinsai Shakai no Susteina-biliti Gaku: Chiiki to Daigaku no Aratana Kyoudou wo Mezashite (Sustainability Science in the Society after the Great East Japan Earthquake—Toward Transdisciplinary Collaboration between Local Communities and Universities). Eds., Tamura, M., Ito, T., Kimura, K., Kato, S., and Sakagami, N. 2014. (Tokyo: Kokusai-Bunkensha, in-print, in Japanese)

    Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

    • Kato, S. 2012. An Overview of Green Infrastructure’s Contribution to Climate Change Adaptation. Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium of Landscape Architecture, Korea, China, and Japan: 224-228. The Korean Institute of Landscape Architecture.
    • Kato, S. 2011. Green Infrastructure for Asian Cities: The Spatial Concepts and Planning Strategies. Journal of the 2011 International Symposium on City Planning: 161-170. Korea Planners Association.
    • Kato, S. and J. Ahern. 2011. The Concept of Threshold and Its Potential Application to Landscape Planning. Landscape and Ecological Engineering 7(2): 275-282.
    • Kato, S. and J. Ahern. 2009. Multifunctional Landscapes as a Basis for Sustainable Landscape Development. Landscape Research Japan 72(5): 799-804.
    • Kato, S. and J. Ahern. 2008. “Learning by Doing”: Adaptive Planning as a Strategy to Address Uncertainty in Planning. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 51(4): 543-559.