Keiko Okai-Yabe

Urban Designer


With a background in public space design and urban planning, Keiko Okai-Yabe brings comprehensive expertise to various stages of spatial creation, from urban vision development to construction documentation and supervision. With five years of practical experience in Japan, including street and square designs, she has a strong interest in urban-rural resilience, having participated in both research and practical aspects of recovery projects following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Before joining Starr Whitehouse, Keiko obtained a Master’s in City Planning and an Urban Design Certificate from the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where she developed strong research and quantitative analysis skills within the urban planning field. She also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Tokyo, where she was in the Landscape and Civic Design Lab.

Representative Projects:

Niagara Falls Signage and Wayfinding Plan, Niagara Falls, NY
Public Square Park Renovation Bid Documents, Hudson, NY
Walkable KOBE Vision Plan, Hyogo, Japan*
Sankita Streetscape and Plaza, Kobe-Sannomiya Station, Hyogo, Japan*
Streetscape Design, Izumo Taisha Shrine, Shimane, Japan*
Yanagawa Station Canal Square, Fukuoka, Japan*
Matsuyama City Station Square Concept Design, Ehime, Japan*

*Work completed prior to joining Starr Whitehouse