Imagine life without traffic jams that take up most of your time or gas station. Now think about what it would be like to use your smartphone to automatically book your doctor's appointments and commute to work on an e-bike, passing through well-kept green areas. Welcome to Fujisawa and its futuristic and sustainable life, built in an old factory area in Japan.
The initiative comes at a good time. According to experts, about eight out of ten people will be living in cities by 2050. The implications of this rapid urbanization are worrying: the future of the planet, many of them warn, could be guaranteed or lost in the future. urban planning of large cities.
Fujisawa City is a 60 billion yen (US$740 million) project and was led by Panasonic. With the development of this city, the multinational wanted to build, from scratch, the first smart city in Japan.
All homes built in the city come with their own solar panels and optional hydrogen fuel cells. Another major advantage of this construction is that residents can choose to sell excess energy to utilities. The city was “inaugurated” in early 2014, with 220 houses for sale.
Over time, it is expected that this project will expand further and that the city will be complete by 2020. The entire philosophy that governs the city is based on the five pillars that together form the basis of smart cities: community, mobility, energy, safety and health.
According to the project, the city will house at least 3,000 residents when all construction is completed in 2020. In addition, the city is expected to have 600 townhouses and 400 condominium units. Despite the fact that Fujisawa is not yet completed, the site already accommodates more than 1,000 residents. Each of the townhouses in the city cost about $ 500,000.
More and more people are becoming interested in sustainable homes and the initiative already has some supporters in Brazil. According to the website MAGODECASA, the number of people seeking to know more about the subject is increasing and the sales of electronic devices that measure the electricity consumption of homes has grown in recent years: “Although it is not a cheap technology, the investment is compensated by the savings on bills and the feeling of taking care of the planet”, says Lucas Coppi, coordinator of the site.
The Fujisawa project, led by a consortium of 18 companies from the public and private sectors, built the city in such a way that residents need not fear a power outage in the event of a natural disaster. The city has the ability to meet the needs of its residents for three days with its energy reserves.
Fujisawa construction goals
With the construction of the city of Fujisawa, Panasonic wants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, making the city as sustainable as possible. For this, residents are also alerted to the potential waste in their use of energy and water. To help reduce the “carbon footprint”, the city also offers electric vehicles for hire and the street lights have sensors that are activated by approaching vehicles and pedestrians.
Another of the project's goals was to develop a sense of community among the residents. The city prides itself on offering amenities such as a community center, playgrounds, gardens, a shopping mall and its own wellness plaza, focused exclusively on the well-being of the inhabitants.