Panasonic developing an eco-harmonious Japan ‘Smart Town’ for 2014

Fujisawa via CEproIn the wake of the terrible earthquake/Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, Japan is focused on a safe and secure energy infrastructure. We’ve already heard about Naoto Kan’s idea to install a national solar panel array, but Panasonic and eight other companies have started their own clean energy project.

The plan is to turn a piece of Fujisawa city into a “sustainable smart town” of 1000 houses all built to be energy-conscious and eco-harmonious. Each of the nine companies has their own responsibility from creating the town concept and service model, to energy management services. This would be a very large private-sector development and would be the first of its kind in the world. They are estimating a 60 billion yen ($700 million) price tag for development

Panasonic and Fujisawa have agreed to build the town on a the site of a former Panasonic plant. The smart town aims to house 3,000 people and aims to open up in March of 2014, with full occupancy by 2018. The three main ideas that will go into design of this utopia center around eco-conscious master planning; comprehensive information and energy connection; and a “next-generation lifestyle unique to a smart town.

Some of the specific ideas under consideration in the master planning include solar panel designs that blend with the flora of the town, as well as a space designation to enable and promote electric car sharing. There will be charging stations all around the town, for cars and for electric bicycles. There will be storage batteries in all the homes, and each unit will contain smart energy saving appliances which will have “future network compatibility in mind”.

Solar will not be the only focus of energy collection. They plan on using a combination of wind, light, heat and water to fill up the battery storage systems. It seems as if every comfort has been provided for with guilt-free energy. Even with the 60 billion yen ($700 million) price tag for development, the brand new green village will probably be more cost efficient than dealing with older structures. Panasonic hopes to use this Fujisawa smart town as a template to create even larger communities in Japan.

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