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Toyota's Woven City – Smart and Sustainable Hubs

Woven City Ceremony
05 March 2021
 

Toyota and Woven Planet, the Toyota Group company responsible for a wide range of mobility development projects, anchored in software, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Woven City on February 23. This is another prime example in the growing trend for pioneering smart and sustainable city projects across the globe, as organisations collaborate to build and prototype for evolved FM.

Along with Governor Heita Kawakatsu of Shizuoka Prefecture, Mayor Kenji Takamura of Susono City, and other guests representing the local community, the ceremony was attended by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, Woven Planet CEO James Kuffner, TMEJ President Kazuhiro Miyauchi, as well as others involved in the project. Together, the leaders expressed their hopes for the safe start to construction.

"The Woven City project officially starts today," said President Toyoda. "Taking action as one has decided is never an easy task. I must express my deepest gratitude to all who have provided their whole-hearted support and cooperation to the project through today. The unwavering themes of the Woven City are “human-centered,” “a living laboratory” and “ever-evolving.” Together with the support of our project partners, we will take on the challenge of creating a future where people of diverse backgrounds are able to live happily."

 

Why Start Building Smart Cities?

 

To prepare for an era in which all ecosystems that support everyday life are connected with data, Toyota announced the construction of the Woven City at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, United States in January. Woven City aims to continuously create advancements that will help better society by accelerating the cycle of technology and development of services.

Woven City is a project that will demonstrate a human-centered approach to community development. In Toyota's shift from an automobile manufacturer to a mobility company, the project will bring new technology to life in a real-world environment across a wide range of areas, such as automated driving, personal mobility, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). It is expected to provide a number of opportunities for businesses and researchers around the world.

For the time being, such idea of such futuristic living conditions appear very luxurious, but the research and development promises to help bring technologies down in cost and provide blueprints for adaptable models in all urban dwellings, raising the standard of living on average across the board. Sustainability and resilient, independent facilities are vital focuses for obstacles of the future. For example, a new city close to Beijing is being designed to protect residents against future pandemics – known as the "pandemic-proof city”, it boasts design elements such as greenhouse covered buildings, digital factories and drone accessibility.

 

 

The renewable systems that make this possible are at the forefront of modern engineering in FM. Green Gothenburg recently provided a virtual tour of their innovation in this field. In times outside of pandemic restrictions, this part of Smart City Sweden, a state-funded export platform for sustainable city solutions, is physically opened for showcasing sustainable habitation infrastructure and forward-looking learning environments. They welcome delegations from all over the world who are interested in investing in smart & sustainable city solutions from Sweden.

 

 

From to Heritage to Making History

 

TMEJ President Miyauchi added, "I am deeply grateful for having had our Higashi-Fuji Plant operate here for 53 years with the support of the local community. The knowledge and expertise we acquired from all of the people who worked at the plant must be carried on into the next chapter. With the conviction that Woven City will stand not on mere empty land but where the history of the Higashi-Fuji Plant lies, I will offer the greatest possible collaboration in the future."

Woven City will have three types of streets interwoven with each other on the ground level, one dedicated to automated driving, one to pedestrians, and one to pedestrians with personal mobility vehicles. There will also be one underground road used to transport goods. The community will start with roughly 360 residents, mainly senior citizens, families with young children, and inventors and will eventually have a population of more than 2,000 individuals including Toyota employees. The infrastructure of Woven City aims to create an environment where inventions with the potential to solve social issues are created on a timely basis.

 

Picture: the ceremony for Woven City's official beginning.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 05 March 2021

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