Panasonic's Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town: a Town Sustainably Evolving through Living Ideas

Padma Venu
Assistant Manager - PR & Events Team
Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa FZE

The concept of sustainability has grown predominantly over the years –it has evolved into a dominant theme today! Sustainability is fast gaining traction as an essential component for a company's long-term success. In today's interconnected global economy, the long-term value and success of business are inextricably linked to the integration of environmental, social and governance issues into corporate management and operations and this leads to the evolution of a modern corporate sustainability movement.

Population growth in emerging nations is impacting the environment, including depleting natural resources and increasing CO2 emissions. A common point for both developed and emerging nations is the lifestyles of urban residents, and the key point for improvement is to make the towns smarter.

Since the great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, there has been increasing public demand for an energy paradigm shift to renewable energy solutions that are less vulnerable in times of disaster and have smaller environmental impacts, as primary energy resources to support everyday living. Under the new slogan of “self- creation and self-consumption of energy”, the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town will provide energy services designed to complement lifestyles through to the next generation, enabling residents to generate energy that they use in their own homes, through optimal utilization of solar power generation and other tools.

In line with this, Panasonic is developing the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (FSST). The “Fujisawa model” is a revolutionary town-creation scheme that will bring energy to life, enhancing people's lives with solar power, security, mobility, community, and healthcare. Fujisawa SST is Panasonic’s message to people and to the world that these problems could be solved.

Commenting on the growing importance of sustainability, Mr Anthony Peter, Director, Corporate Communications, Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa, says, “In a world of rising energy prices, increased scarcity of natural resources, rampant changes in our climate, growing competition from emerging economies, and increased consumer concern about the quality of life, health and safety, corporate sustainability is synonymous with corporate survival. Through Panasonic’s Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town plan, we are creating an optimum smart infrastructure to support the new way of living. We are building a sustainable town enabling residents to have an eco-friendly and comfortable lifestyle incorporating the blessings of nature while ensuring safety and security.”

Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fujisawa SST), an innovative eco-conscious town now under construction on the outskirts of Tokyo. Fujisawa SST, announced first in May 2011, is a project aiming to build a sustainable smart town on the roughly 19-hectare vacant lot of Panasonic’ s former factory site in Fujisawa City, about 50 km west of Tokyo. Construction of homes already started September this year in the blocks designated for single-family detached homes. The town is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014.

With a 100-year vision for the lifestyles for the 1,000 households in the town, the project will foster a community that develops sustainably through the introduction of new services and technologies.

The detached houses to accommodate some 600 households are to be constructed in the town. Each will be equipped with a solar power generation system and storage battery units. The houses will be designed so as to make possible lifestyles based on “self-creation and self-consumption of energy” through the “SMARTHEMS (Home Energy Management System).

All residents of the Fujisawa SST will be able to start enjoying eco-friendly and smart lifestyles, underpinned by optimal and stable utilization of renewable energy sources. Fujisawa SST is intended to be a sustainable smart town that achieves independent and symbiotic energy management aiming for maximum energy efficiency through state- of –the-art smart houses designed to thoroughly promote self-creation and self-consumption of energy. Flexible response to changes in the power supply environment and in people’s lifestyles will enable adaptation of future energy usage behavior.

Fujisawa SST was adopted as a “Model Project for promoting CO2 reduction in “housing and buildings” by the ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism. Fujisawa SST, a project aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% and achieve renewable energy usage of over 30% for the entire town, was selected as a leading project with excellent potential in CO2 reduction by the ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism.

In order to turn the town concept into reality, a series of numerical targets and guidelines have been set to help revitalize the resident’s activities. Fujisawa SST’s mission is to turn the concept into a real town. As such Fujisawa SST has set a number of numerical targets to set the direction for creating this town, and devise guidelines to ensure that these numerical targets could be met. Town structures including town Management Company and five smart services have been established. The structures and services to eco-friendly and smart activities of all individuals involved in the town will be linked.

For bringing energy to life over the next 100 years onward, planned houses, commercial facilities, healthcare, welfare and educational facilities, parks and zones will be built to develop the town.

For example, houses will adopt an energy management system, which provides comfortable living by linking energy-creation, energy storage and energy-saving equipment. The community solar power generation system will supply a total 100KW on public land. Through the town, Panasonic will continue to promote innovative smart town initiatives in each zone of the town such as the committee centre, which will serve as a shelter equipped with a power generation system in the event of an emergency.

Fujisawa SST will continue to be a new town even after 100 years by incorporating houses and facilities with state-of-the art equipment and services of the time based on actual lifestyles.

After the town opens, it will develop for 30 years, mature for 30 years, and then further evolve for 30 years. Fujisawa SST sets a 100-year vision, time for three family generations to lead a prosperous life. By combining fixed and variable elements, Fujisawa SST will be established as a sustainable town, where eco and smart lifestyles will continue to flourish.

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