Phase-free: a new concept related to disaster prevention and climate change adaptation


It is practically difficult to continue to prepare for disasters that may occur at any time, and conventional disaster prevention efforts are unlikely to be sustainable.


Climate change adaptation measures based on the phase-free concept can be undertaken without difficulty because they enrich our everyday lives, and as a result, we can live safely and securely even in times of emergency.

Phase-free is a new approach to disaster prevention that began in Japan in 2014. It does not separate the two phases of everyday life and emergencies, and advocates designing things that can be useful in both phases.
Until now, disaster prevention has been based on the premise of "preparing" for disasters. In reality, however, it is difficult to "prepare" and "continue to be prepared" for disasters that may occur at any time, which makes it difficult to make continuous efforts for disaster prevention. Phase-Free, which was born from this background, features a design that supports life and livelihood in times of emergency while enriching daily life. Currently, this concept is widely spreading in various sectors such as industry, government, academia, and the private sector, with a growing number of examples of various practices.


IKE・SUNPARK: a park whose function of creating lively scenes and enjoyment supports the community in case of emergency

SINCE 2020

“IKE・SUNPARK” opened in 2020 as a disaster prevention park utilizing a part of the 1.7 ha site of the former Tokyo Branch Office of the Mint Bureau. In order to effectively utilize this valuable asset adjacent to one of the most densely wooded areas in Tokyo, an agreement was concluded with the Urban Renaissance Agency for the “Disaster Prevention Park District Development Project” to integrate the disaster prevention park and the urban area. The Park-PFI method, which utilizes private funds, was introduced for the development of the park.

The park has the largest lawn area in the district, which is a place for users to relax on a daily basis and a space for various events such as farmers’ markets on weekends. In times of disaster, it serves as a temporary evacuation site for local residents and people who have difficulty returning home, and afterwards, it functions as a collection and distribution center for relief supplies. In the center of the plaza is a heliport, the only one of its kind in the park in the ward, and the parkway is equipped with a pressure-resistant roadbed to enable large trucks to bring in relief supplies and transport patients with serious illnesses. On the east side of the park, facing a dense wood-frame residential area, a firebreak was placed to prevent the spread of fire. In addition, emergency water tanks for drinking water, disaster prevention wells, emergency power generation equipment, emergency toilets, and disaster prevention warehouses were installed to strengthen disaster prevention functions. The park has succeeded in creating both a lively community space and a space with disaster-prevention functions.


Bariclean: a waste treatment facility that supports society in times of emergency while contributing to an affluent lifestyle in everyday life.

SINCE 2018

Designed based on the basic concept of “Imabari City Clean Center that links people, community, and generations with safety and security,” this waste treatment facility functions as a place of relaxation and disaster prevention for the local community. The plant’s daily operations and the various activities of local residents are also useful in emergencies, making it a new landmark as a base for protecting the community and providing peace of mind.

The facility was designed based on the phase-free concept from the planning stage, with a total of 40 phase-free items in both hardware and software. The facility has been in operation for five years, and in addition to stable daily waste processing, it has experience in processing disaster waste generated by heavy rain disasters. On a daily basis, the facility is the core of the community, with approximately 20,000 people gathering there each year, and citizens use the facility on a daily basis. The facility has operated as a designated evacuation center for the city twice. The facility contributes to the community both “in every day life” and “in case of emergency”. Phase-Free has transformed a waste disposal facility that was previously often regarded with disapproval into a place that is accepted by the local community.


Niimo: rental housing where spaces that create comfortable living are useful even in the event of flooding

SINCE 2021

Niimo is a three-story maisonette-type rental residence, a wooden structure with a reinforced concrete first floor. It was designed not only for easy daily living, but also in consideration of flood damage, which has increased dramatically in recent years. 

It protects the lives of tenants because it solves the problem of conventional wooden rental housing in which tenants have to temporarily move out in order to recover from the flood damage.At the same time, it protects the lives of owners by allowing them to continue their rental management business.

This product was born out of the “Boku Labo” disaster prevention initiative. The first floor serves as a garage, allowing for advanced land use by eliminating the outdoor parking space.  In the event of flooding, the solid concrete structure reduces direct damage, making maintenance easier during restoration, unlike wooden structures that require long-term drying. The main living functions are grouped on the second and third floors, allowing for home evacuation even if the first floor is flooded. Roof balconies and numerous opening areas provide an open and comfortable environment while increasing the possibility of evacuation if a disaster strikes. It is a phase-free rental housing that benefits both owners and tenants by providing a highly business-efficient and open residence in everyday life and allowing home evacuation and quick recovery in the case of a disaster, thereby enhancing the continuity of life and business.