Definition of smart city
A smart city is data on the unique issues faced by cities and regions (population decline, aging, tourism, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, education, medical care, employment, disaster prevention, finance, etc.) using advanced ICT * 1 technology. It is a town development concept that is being carried out as a national initiative to utilize and solve the problem.
Japan is currently starting various efforts toward the realization of "Society 5.0". In June 2018, the Diet decided on a national policy called "Future Investment Strategy 2018-" Society 5.0 "and" Transformation to a Data-Driven Society "-".
"Society 5.0" is the concept of the future society that Japan is aiming for in the first place. One of them is the concept of next-generation town development. This is a smart city.
Toward the realization of smart cities According to the "Toward the Realization of Smart Cities (Interim Report)" released by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in August 2018, smart cities are "to address the issues facing cities, such as ICT, etc." It is defined as "a sustainable city or district where management (planning, maintenance, management / operation, etc.) is carried out and overall optimization is achieved while utilizing new technology." Specifically, the goals of smart cities are clearly stated in the following five fields.
A city where all citizens can move comfortably, centered on public transportation
Coexistence with nature (Nature)
Urban space in harmony with water and greenery
Realizing energy saving at the building / block level from both passive and active
Utilization of renewable energy such as solar power and wind power
Safety & Security
Creating a disaster-resistant city and fostering local communities
Secure emergency generators, storage warehouses, evacuation shelters, etc. in urban development
Resource recycling (Recycle)
Storage and utilization of rainwater, etc.
Reclaimed water from wastewater treatment is used for planting and sprinkling
* 1 ICT:
ICT is an abbreviation that stands for Information and Communication Technology. Information and communication technology.
Past efforts regarding smart cities
The word smart city has come to the forefront of the policy of former US President Barack Obama. On September 14, 2015, President Barack Obama announced the "Smart City Initiative," which describes smart cities as "a community that builds infrastructure to continuously improve data collection, collection, and utilization that improve the lives of residents." Defined as 3). In this announcement, it is said that smart cities will be realized by incorporating the results of data revolution, inexpensive sensors, and joint research while protecting safety and privacy. We provided a government subsidy of 160 million dollars (19.2 billion yen) in the federal budget. Since then, private companies have been playing a central role in building a smart city environment based on data in collaboration with the US government and local governments.
In Japan, due to the progress of ICT technology in recent years, under the concept of data utilization, we will work on a wide range of fields such as "environment", "energy", "transportation", "communication", "education", "medical care / health". Cross-disciplinary measures are required.
Therefore, each ministry and agency is making various efforts toward the realization of smart cities in the fields under its jurisdiction. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in the fields of data utilization and communications, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment in the energy field, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in the fields of transportation and energy-saving housing are developing many businesses. On the other hand, the Cabinet Office manages beyond the boundaries of traditional fields and prefectures / ministries. So to speak, the whole country is promoting new town development.
Examples of promoting smart cities in Japan
In Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, efforts to build a smart city began in 2014. The University of Aizu Wakamatsu is home to the University of Aizu, Japan's first ICT college, with a tourism industry and local industries such as agriculture, liquor, and lacquer ware. However, the working-age population continues to decline, and "Smart City Aizuwakamatsu" has started with the goal of creating industries and developing human resources using ICT 4).
In this project, Aizuwakamatsu City, the University of Aizu, the national government, and ICT-related companies are working together to develop various businesses. Specifically, it is the following business.
Local information portal "Aizuwakamatsu Plus" (general window for citizens)
When you access the regional information portal site "Aizuwakamatsu Plus", you can easily and quickly access the "information you will want to see the most" (link 1).
Link 1 Aizuwakamatsu City Plus (external site) (a new window will open)
Use data to extend healthy life expectancy
Taking advantage of the fact that there are multiple general hospitals with a large number of beds for the population, we aim to reduce medical costs by shifting from treatment to preventive medicine. By aggregating data from local governments and medical institutions and utilizing this big data, it is possible to provide "health advice based on data".
Optimization of city bus routes and timetables
Along with identifying the blank areas of public transportation in the city, we also analyzed the bus boarding / alighting data and data such as the number of elderly people and the density of elderly people, and extracted the areas with the highest potential demand for route buses. Bus utilization has improved by optimizing community bus routes and schedules in collaboration with local residents based on the data.
In addition, we are also developing businesses such as clarifying the land where we actually live and the land of vacant houses, and extracting the places where traffic accidents can occur.
Life changes brought about by smart cities
How will our lives change if a smart city like Aizuwakamatsu spreads to other areas?
Underlying the smart city concept is "many of the problems of physical distance have been solved, and consumers can use the surplus time reduced or shortened by doing so to improve their quality of life and self-actualization. It will be possible to devote to activities that satisfy desires and activities with high added value. " In other words, the time spent commuting to work, school, shopping, going to hospital, etc. can be reduced, and the time can be used for social contribution, re-education, and interaction with more people. (Fig. 1).
Figure 1: A diagram showing the perspective image of consumers after the realization of smart cities. It is shown that the realization of smart cities will change the way people use time and raise the desire stage of consumers, leading to social contribution and re-learning.
Figure 1: Image of consumers' perspectives after the realization of smart cities 1)
Currently, we are still in the stage of moving toward the realization of smart cities in some areas, but in the fields of medical care and health, various businesses for the realization of healthy longevity are being developed. In the near future, new town development that is different from the past may be further advanced.