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June 6, 2011 / Omar J. Peters

The Panasonic City

Another IT/technology company is getting into the city-building crave. PopSci writes on Panasonic’s plans to build a smart town in Japan.

Part demonstration initiative and part reclamation project, Panasonic and friends are turning the footprint of one of the company’s former factory sites into a 47-acre, 1,000-home “smart town” with energy- and eco-conscious considerations leading the development.

But the idea here isn’t to create a town stripped to the bare minimum energy usage. Rather, by building the “Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town”–Fujisawa City in Kanagawa Prefecture being the larger urban area here–with next-gen power-generating and power-saving infrastructure from the ground up, the companies plan to show just how green a town can be when various technologies are stacked together and work in unison.

For instance, every roof structure will be embedded with modern solar panel technology that both powers the house and banks unused energy in a home-based storage battery. Transportation infrastructure will be designed with electric vehicles in mind. Networked sensors all over town will control things like public lighting, ensuring wattage doesn’t go to waste via a local smart grid.

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