Imagine life without traffic jams that take up a lot of your time or gas station. Now think about what it would be like to use your smartphone to make your medical appointments automatically and go to work on an electric bicycle, passing through well-maintained 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 urban planning of large cities.
Fujisawa City is a project that cost 60 billion yen ($ 740 million) 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 houses built in the city come with their own solar panels and optional hydrogen fuel cells. Another great advantage of this construction is that residents can choose to sell excess energy to concessionaires. The city was “inaugurated” in early 2014, with the sale of 220 houses.
Over time, it is expected that this project will expand further and that the city will be complete by 2020. The whole philosophy that governs the city is based on the five pillars that together form the base 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 topic is increasing and the sales of electronic devices that measure the electricity consumption of homes have grown in recent years: “Although it is not a cheap technology, the investment is offset by savings in accounts and the feeling of taking care of the planet ”, says Lucas Coppi, site coordinator.
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 do not have to 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.
Objectives of Fujisawa construction
With the construction of the city of Fujisawa, Panasonic wants to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, making the city as sustainable as possible. To this end, 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 rental and the street lights have sensors that are activated by the approach of vehicles and pedestrians.
Another objective of the project 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 its inhabitants.