Toyota is building a new city in Japan: “Woven City”. The opening ceremony was held on Tuesday. Imagine: we are at the foot of Mount Fuji that can be seen in the distance with its snowy peaks. At this location, last year, there was still a Toyota plant that closed.
“Woven city”, means “woven city”, It is a completely new city built on 175 hectares (that is to say, a little smaller than Monaco) and which will host 2,000 inhabitants in a few months: Toyota employees with their families, scientists, retirees.
“Woven city” because everything will be connected: houses, cars, administrations, public buildings, hospitals… Connected and energetically autonomous to avoid having cities that emit too much carbon.
What will life be like in “Woven City”?
You will walk on roads reserved primarily for pedestrians and smooth mobility like the bicycle or the scooter.
In “Woven City” there will be very few cars and only autonomous electric vehicles, drones to ensure racing deliverys, vans that act as mobile stores for groceries or restaurants, parks, gardens, buildings with roofs covered with photovoltaic panels and sensors in buildings, in public lighting, on sidewalks to ensure surveillance, security, traffic flow or public lighting according to the place are people walking.
The city of tomorrow?
This city straight out of a sci-fi movie proves that automakers will soon cease to be automakers. Easier said of Toyota, because you have a conglomerate culture in Asia where a group can make cars, computers, logistics with container ships and freezers.
But this is also true in Europe, where automakers are increasingly selling (and increasingly expensive) “mobility services.” The future of the car is not necessarily having a car in your garage, but having an easy way to get from point A to point B using cars, buses, or the subway.
This is also the reason why you see the computer giants enter the automotive market. Renault’s long-term competitor is Google or Amazon.
When will the connected cities arrive?
There are many projects for 2050. Many groups and many connected cities are emerging, “smart cities” as they say. They are often used by the giants of new technologies. In North America or China, we see cities connected by Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple or even Tencent, Huaweï or Alibaba.
Why ? Because the nervous system that will make it possible to better manage the energy production of these cities, circulate autonomous cars or manage household consumption, is 5G. One more time, 5G will not allow you to navigate faster with your laptop, it will allow you to connect universes to have an industry and cities that communicate with each other to be more frugal in terms of consumption and more fluid in terms of traffic.
All this with one goal: to have carbon neutral cities.. That is why we must not get stuck in moratoriums on this technology that will be the oil or electricity of the 21st century economy.
More and more city dwellers
Because we will live more and more in the city in the coming years. But this type of project is quite reassuring to the extent that we see that the environmental and demographic issue is fully taken into account in the construction of new cities. We will be almost 10 billion inhabitants in 2050 on earth, 70 to 75 million inhabitants in France, of which more than 80% will be urban. This obviously raises a lot of questions and it is better to train in real conditions like in “Woven City”.
Many more vegetable cities with vertical farms will be created to cool the cities, oxygenate them and feed the local populations. This means less urban sprawl. Urbanization will mainly affect cities in China, India and Nigeria. Then it will be necessary to be able to build thrifty cities. But beware, for the moment these smart cities are built from scratch, what about a city like Paris, and that these are cities today reserved for the richest? We will have to democratize them.
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