The Japanese company Toyota is starting to build a smart city in the vicinity of Mount Fuji, a place considered sacred by the Japanese. The so-called smart city will be built on the site of Toyota’s former production plant in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture.
The city of the new generation will be full of technological novelties. Artificial intelligence will direct the traffic to avoid traffic jams, residents will have a special type of lanes only for autonomous vehicles at their disposal. Algorithms will also monitor the health of people in order to provide them with medical help quickly and efficiently when needed and, what’s more, to be able to predict the deterioration of health.
The city was named Woven. In the first phase of this urban and technological experiment, 360 people will live in it, mainly employees of the concern. Over time, at least 2,000 people are to move into the city. Toyota describes its new creation as a “living laboratory”, because the estate will indeed be one great experiment based on artificial intelligence.
Moreover, modern solutions are to be disseminated with the use of native Japanese solutions. The company is proud to announce that the houses will be built of wood using the traditional native method known for centuries. Wood as a building material will reduce the carbon footprint in today’s reality, and from a historical perspective, it will combine the modernity of an intelligent city with Japanese tradition and aesthetics.
However, despite boasting about references to its own traditions, the city’s design was commissioned to Bjarke Ingels, a Danish architect who has, among others, the New York 2 World Trade Center towers or the Google headquarters in California.
The project receives favorable reviews in the Japanese media, but the main argument against Toyota’s plan is that a modern city full of new technologies is being built at the foot of a volcano. Mount Fuji can explode at any time, although of course it has been inactive for three centuries.