Japanese tech giant Panasonic and an international consortium made up of 10 groups have revealed their plans for a Smart Sustainable Town (SST) to be built on the site of a former mobile phone plant in Yokohama in by 2018. The Tsunashima SST plan “sets forth the town’s environmental targets, safety and security goals, and rules for the landscapes and operations, seeking to create a town where the participants from different industries collaborate in harmony to achieve the goals.”

The new town, which aims to become a role model ‘FutureCity’, will consist of both residential and  non-residential facilities, including a dormitory for Keio University, an environmentally-friendly shopping center and an Apple research facility, scheduled for completion by 2016. Meanwhile, Nomura Real Estate and MID Urban Development are tasked with creating “smart condos” where “every unit in the housing will have EneFarm home-use fuel-cells and a Smart HEMS, providing a lifestyle in which every resident will be able to live comfortably while leading an ecological life.” The Internet of Things is expected to roll out in full force in public areas, as plans already “include a multi-signage system that offers diverse information on the weather, disaster prevention and traffic, or evacuation guidance in times of emergency; multifunction monitoring cameras that can provide customer security and also can be used for marketing; and multilingual translation systems for the increasing number of tourists.”

Tsunashima will be powered by a high-tech, next generation energy system wherein electricity and heating are shared among the facilities that are to be built, thanks to a collaboration with with JX Nippon Oil & Energy. The next stage will see hydrogen and solar-based power generation facilities, as the group aims for 30% of all energy used in the city to be generated on site and a 40% decrease of carbon-emissions (compared to 13 years earlier) in its first year of existence.

The new SST will mark the second time unused land held by Panasonic will be repurposed to create a smart city; a similar model was completed in Fujisawa in early 2015.

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