In Japan, tsunami sharpens focus on smart cities

Japan is looking to develop smart city technology for energy security and profit.

The devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, causing thousands of deaths and the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, has prompted Japan to renew its focus on sustainable energy and smart city technology.

The Financial Times reports that Japan is developing smart city initiatives that strive to bring energy security to cities.

As a result, Japan has launched its “Smart Communities” projects, to develop smart grids and promote clean, renewable energy generation and energy efficiency in cities.

Japan has certain advantages in pushing the smart city agenda. “It has very strong communications and high-tech manufacturing,” says Ms [Nobuko] Asakai [head of sustainability practice in Japan for Accenture]. “These companies are very strong in research and development.”

Accenture, specifically, is working on smart city projects in Yokohama, Fujisawa and Fukushima.

But sustainable energy resources aren't the only reason Japan is looking to showcase smart city technology. As the Financial Times points out, numerous Japanese tech companies could stand to benefit from exporting smart city infrastructure, a projected $108 billion business by 2020 .

Smart cities: Tsunami brings rethink on sustainability [Financial Times]

Photo: Flickr/hide99

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com