Toyota Woven City is a prototype city of the future to be developed at the base of Mount Fuji in the Japanese prefecture of Shizuoka. The name of the city honours Toyota’s origins as a manufacturer of automatic looms.
The Woven City will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by clean energy sources such as hydrogen fuel cells, solar energy and geothermal energy. It is expected to serve as a ‘living laboratory’ for residents to test modern technology such as autonomy, personal mobility, smart homes, robotics, and artificial intelligence in a real-world setting.
The city will initially house 2,000 residents, including employees of Toyota Motor and their families, as well as pensioners, scientists, retailers, and business partners. More residents will join the city as the project evolves.
Toyota is open to collaborating with commercial and academic partners to develop and test its technologies in the city.
To design the city, the company appointed Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, who founded the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The design focuses on the aspect of human interaction, which is believed to be an integral part of the city.
A ground-breaking ceremony for the project is expected to be held in early 2021. The first phase of the city will include more than 12 structures, covering a total area of 50,000m².
Woven City will be built on an area of 70.82ha at the site of Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji automotive plant, which will be closed by the end of 2020 to make way for the connected city.
It will be developed in the city of Susono in Shizuoka, Japan.
The masterplan includes three types of streets or lanes, each dedicated to different transportation speeds. One of the lanes will accommodate only faster autonomous vehicles. The second type will be a recreational promenade that will support the movement of pedestrians and slow-moving vehicles such as bicycles, scooters and similar micro-mobility modes of transport, including Toyota’s i-Walk. Dedicated to pedestrians only, the third lane is proposed to be designed as a linear park and will feature flora and fauna.
The three street types will be interlinked in an organic grid pattern of 3×3 city blocks to frame courtyards. The courtyards of different scales will accommodate areas such as a plaza and a central park.
This woven module can be used to plan a city featuring different types of neighbourhoods, where each district will be linked by the three-lane traffic system.
The city will allow only fully autonomous, zero-emission vehicles such as Toyota e-Palette on the main thoroughfares. The driverless, multi-purpose e-Palette vehicle will be used for shared commute services and changeable mobile retail units.
The buildings of the urban development will mostly be made from sustainable wood by using a combination of traditional Japanese wood joinery and the tatami module with robotic fabrication methods.
Structures for residences, retail and businesses will be made from carbon-sequestering wood and the rooftops will be installed with photo-voltaic panels to produce solar power.
Smart homes in the city will be equipped with in-home robotics to assist humans in daily household activities. The fully connected residences will tap sensor-based AI technology to monitor health and automate work such as grocery deliveries, waste disposal, and laundry pick-up.
Toyota’s research and development spaces rising above the Central Plaza will include labs focused on areas such as 3D printing, robotic construction and mobility. Office spaces will feature workstations, indoor gardens and lounge areas.
Key infrastructure, including goods delivery system ‘matternet’, hydrogen power and a stormwater filtration system, will remain hidden in an underground network.
The city’s people, buildings and vehicles will be connected, communicating via data and sensors, which will help in testing connected AI technology.
The city will have a large central park, along with several neighbourhood parks, while outdoor areas will be designed with native vegetation and hydroponics.
The project is being designed by BIG, which was involved in projects such as Google’s Mountain View and London headquarters, and New York’s 2 World Trade Center.
The Woven City development is also being supported by Kaleidoscope Creative. Squint Opera provided animation services, while Mobility in Chain was selected to serve as a transportation consultant.
Atelier Ten is responsible for providing sustainable design consultancy services.
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