Panasonic company has built a sustainable town which can be used for introducing a number of complex ecological solutions for a house, a building or a town. The solutions combine energy technologies of the company with the environmental protection.
In this way Panasonic wants to promote energy-saving devices and to propose new solutions which blend the methods of generating and collecting the energy and controlling the energy use.
Apart from well organized cutting edge technology, the company also wants to focus on creating interpersonal relations, thus making room for the community which participates in building and developing the town. The central concept of the project is to create a place where people can live up to 100 years old in a perfect health. The town of the future will be a synonym for the development in high technologies, health and education, and its dwellers will foster close interpersonal relations.
In late 2010 Panasonic company made an agreement with the authorities of the Fujisawa town under which decisions have been taken to create a smart, healthy and ecological town called Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town. The eco town is located in Kanagawa Prefecture, about 50 km west of Tokyo. The location is a former Panasonic factory. The plot of 19 hectares holds about 1000 houses, commercial and public facilities. 3000 people can live in the town. The total cost was about 60 bn yen. A symbolic opening of the Fujisawa town took place in late 2014. By the end of 2018 the company plans to settle the whole town.
Fujisawa Suistinable Smart Town consists of 6 zones:
- Housing zone
In this zone there are detached and semi-detached houses, all with backyards. The passive houses have been well designed and they perfectly match the atmosphere of the near-by town of Shonen. All houses are powered from renewable energy resources and managed by smart computer systems. Every resident has an access to information via a website where all data can be found on energy consumption of each house, as well as the whole town. Residents also get various tips on how to decrease and balance energy consumption in a household. It is assumed that every house meets all needs of its dwellers. Carefully designed green areas are to provide relaxation for the strollers. Alleys lit with solar lampposts lead safely to abundant public space.
- Meeting zone – Committee Center
It is located in the Central Park and is the core town facility where community members meet. It is the community that plays the key role in the development of the town. For this reason a community association has been set up called New Generation with its seat in the Committee Center. The association deals with wide spectrum of activities connected with environmental protection, energy saving, safety, maintenance and management of the properties. Also, the Committee Center is going to host events, festivals, culture classes and seminars, which will enrich the communication among residents of the town and nearby areas.
- Commercial zone – Shonan T-SITE
There are commercial facilities in the town called Shonan T-SITE. It is a cultural complex with unique shops that offer mainly books and magazines. It is a place for lectures and workshops that promote new approach to life in Fujisawa SST. It is to inspire residents and visitors to the Shonan area. There is a café where you can enjoy a delicious coffee while reading a book. The café is equipped with the cutting edge and energy-efficient utensils which guests are welcome to try out. The utensils are used for the hands-on workshops, e.g. on ecological cooking.
- Workshop zone – Fujisawa SST SQUARE
Fujisawa SST SQUARE building is integrated with Shonan T-SITE. It is a service center for the whole town in terms of communication, planning and organization of events, selling and purchasing energy. Shonan T-SITE provides complex mobility services in SQUARE Mobility such as sharing ecological cars and electric bikes, car rental, offering life and property insurance. It plays social functions and manages the town. The place is also meant for planning and implementing repair activities in case of risk of natural disaster. This is where cooperative relations between residents are built. You can cook and enjoy a meal together. You can learn how to use various tools and then create new objects on your own. The center is equipped with high tech devices such as digital machine tools, including 3D printers. Workshops dedicated to children and whole families are held here as well.
- Wellness Square Zone
It is a place that promotes a healthy life.
There is a clinic, spa & wellness facilities, an education center, nursery centers and a school for children, as well as elderly care amenities. Wellness Square creates opportunities to naturally link people and foster interaction among those who come to the facility. The elderly can pass down their knowledge and skills to children, and children can brighten the lives of the elderly. The Wellness Square is a facility designed to always present this charming sight, to be a place for human interactions which can have a positive effect on the community life. Fujisawa SST is a place where all people, irrespective of their age, are needed to create a happy community.
- Green zone – parks and gardens
Fujisawa SST design links the new community and fosters relations while walking, relaxing, doing sports outdoors or looking after children in the playground. There are many garden paths with flora that draws on the seasons of the year. A great deal of attention is paid to details. Houses and the surrounding areas are designed to let as much light as possible into the green spaces kept in a perfect condition and the wind to flow freely between all buildings and thus bringing in the fresh air. There is a park in the Zone where residents can exercise for their physical shape thanks to fitness equipment and tools available to all. In the meantime, children can play in a well organized playground. There is a round shape garden with benches lined up in a circle so people can enjoy chatting even better. Plans include also a forest park with a wonderful natural landscape to admire.
Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town:
- energy self-sufficient
The whole town uses solar energy taken from the community solar factory. Solar panels are installed on the area of about 400 square meters of public spaces. By selling the electric energy further development of Fujisawa is possible. Apart from the energy from the factory each building is equipped with solar panels and each resident has an access to data on end results of energy production every day. Houses are designed to provide photovoltaic battery on every roof. Therefore, the energy is available to all residents and insufficient energy in one household can be easily made up with the energy surplus from another. Each house is provided with an energy storage generator. The town provides a variety of transportation means: cars, bikes, motorbikes. Energy is a very important element of the community so the town can teach how not to waste it, how to use it effectively and wisely and how to control its consumption.
- Safety of residents
Fujisawa SST is monitored 24/7. The monitoring system consists of 50 cameras connected with the surveillance points and security system that protects the town. Paths and driveways are equipped with lighting system with motion sensors. They are also at the town gateways, in public buildings, shaded park areas, main street crossings, etc. Even though in Fujisawa SST there is only virtual fencing, the protective measures of total control can also give rise to a sense of unease among residents. The idea was to build the community on interpersonal relations. Technology should help, without infringing privacy and undermining mutual trust.
- Ecological transport
Residents can enjoy ecological and intelligent life style based on energy from renewable resources, used optimally and stably. Fujisawa SST offers mobility services for all residents: electric vehicles (EV), electric scooters and electric-assisted bicycles as well as rental car delivery services, and battery stations for renting rechargeable batteries. Thus fuel consumption can be reduced, which in turn decreases its cost and exhaust fumes emission. Therefore, the environmental protection can be enhanced. Residents log on a special mobility platform and reserve time to use an EV.
Wellness is one of priorities in the town. Eco-awareness is to let everyone live happily and in good health at least 100 years. Wellness Center educates children, youth, adults and seniors on healthy eating habits and physical activity. There is a preschool and school focused on developing “thinking skills” and motivating to search for knowledge. Useful information about health can be found in a library open to all. Health-related subjects are addressed in every meeting, workshop or event. Particular emphasis is placed on elderly care. In this community, well organized and focused on cooperation, the elderly people can have fun and at the same time, feel necessary and welcome. Experience of the elderly can provide good and professional care for children.
The town is to serve as a good example for modern civilization which is set on artificial, badly organized and harmful life with loose family bonds and typical abandoning the elderly people in old peoples’ homes.
- Building the community
Fujisawa SST aims to stimulate community activities over the entire region by involving not only the town residents but also people who come to work in Fujisawa SST and the people living in nearby areas. The Fujisawa SST Social Service supports users’ demands while developing stronger community ties.
- A “resource-sharing” program supports the exchange of residents’ goods and personal skills or manpower.
- A “bell ringer” program is in place for exchanging information on disasters and crime prevention.
- A “co-learning” program helps to match people who want to learn with those who want to teach.
- A “community funding” program assists the joint purchase of resources and shared use.
These exchange programs make people aware of the benefits of “mutual assistance” and help to foster a population that is able and motivated to solve problems locally and at the human level.
Panasonic company cooperates with the town of Fujisawa on project implementation in various areas. Panasonic plans to promote the newly created model of urban development in order to rebuild areas struck with earthquakes. The company is going to apply the implemented solution in global projects, e.g. „Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City” in China or „Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project” in India.
This material has been published thanks to the financial support of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The sole responsibility for its contents lies with Collegium Mazovia.