Panasonic Looks To Build Smart Town In Japan

Panasonic is teaming up with eight other Japanese corporations to build a concept city, called the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, that will focus on the energy management of the entire community. The project seems to greatly expand on a similar project in the Netherlands we recently covered, where twenty-five homes were grouped together to form a local smart grid.

Fujisawa City in Kanagawa Prefecture, located approximately 31 miles southwest of Tokyo, Japan, reached an agreement with Panasonic late last year to build a sustainable town model on what was once a vacant lot that formerly housed a Panasonic factory. With the production facility leveled, the city and Panasonic have partnered with infrastructure, utility, and banking firms to build around 1,000 homes on the reclaimed site.

image via Panasonic

Each of the homes will be fitted with a solar powered system as well as a battery storage device and various energy-saving devices, like efficient heat-pumps, LED lighting, and air conditioning units. According to Panasonic, these features will help the concept town produce 70% less carbon emissions than cities compared to the 1990 levels. Parks that take into consideration potential wind power, public charging areas for shared electric vehicles, and health care facility that can be easily access by walking are just some of the sectors being planned in advance.

The $742 million project is expected to open sometime in 2014, and will be able to sustain roughly 3,000 residents when completed. If the concept city proves successful, Panasonic says it will look to build other smart towns in Japan and worldwide.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.