Urban Incubator: BIG Designs Toyota Woven City in Japan

Oct 01, 2020

Likewise envisioned as a living laboratory to test and advance mobility, autonomy, connectivity, hydrogen-powered infrastructure and industry collaboration, Toyota Woven City aims to bring people and communities together in a future enabled by technology yet grounded in history and nature. Mr. Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota and BIG Founder Bjarke Ingels presented the vision at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

A new kind of smart city
“In Higashi-Fuji, Japan, we have decided to build a prototype town of the future where people live, work, play and participate in a living laboratory. Imagine a smart city that would allow researchers, engineers and scientists the opportunity to freely test technology such as autonomy, mobility as a service, personal mobility, robotics, smart home connected technology, AI and more, in a real-world environment. This is a truly unique opportunity to create an entire community, or ‘city’ from the ground up and allow us to build an infrastructure of the future that is connected, digital and sustainable, powered by Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology.” Mr. Akio Toyoda, CEO, Toyota Motor Corporation.

While located at a 175-acre former factory site in the city of Susono in Shizuoka, Toyota Woven City creates a new equality among vehicles, alternate forms of movement, people and nature, streamlined by the promise of a connected, clean and shared mobility. The city will utilize solar energy, geothermal energy, and hydrogen fuel cell technology to strive towards a carbon neutral society, with plans to break ground in phases beginning in 2021.

A flexible network of streets
The Woven City is conceived as a flexible network of streets. It is dedicated to various speeds of mobility for safer, pedestrian-friendly connections. The typical road is split into three, beginning with the primary street optimized for faster autonomous vehicles with logistical traffic underneath. The Toyota e-Palette will be used for shared transportation and delivery services. As well as for mobile retail, food, medical clinics, hotels and workspaces.

“Today the typical is mess, with everything and nothing happening everywhere. With the Woven City we peel apart and then weave back together. The three components of a typical road into a new urban fabric: a street optimized for automated vehicles, a promenade for micro-mobility, and a linear park for pedestrians. The resulting pattern of porous 3×3 city blocks creates a multitude of different econiches for social life, culture and commerce. In an age when technology – social media and online retail – is replacing and eliminating our traditional physical meeting places, we are increasingly more isolated than ever. The Woven City is designed to allow technology to strengthen the public realm as a meeting place and to use connectivity to power human connectivity.” Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Director, BIG.

A flexible network of streets
The Woven City is conceived as a flexible network of streets. It is dedicated to various speeds of mobility for safer, pedestrian-friendly connections. The typical road is split into three, beginning with the primary street optimized for faster autonomous vehicles with logistical traffic underneath. The Toyota e-Palette will be used for shared transportation and delivery services. As well as for mobile retail, food, medical clinics, hotels and workspaces.

“Today the typical is mess, with everything and nothing happening everywhere. With the Woven City we peel apart and then weave back together. The three components of a typical road into a new urban fabric: a street optimized for automated vehicles, a promenade for micro-mobility, and a linear park for pedestrians. The resulting pattern of porous 3×3 city blocks creates a multitude of different econiches for social life, culture and commerce. In an age when technology – social media and online retail – is replacing and eliminating our traditional physical meeting places, we are increasingly more isolated than ever. The Woven City is designed to allow technology to strengthen the public realm as a meeting place and to use connectivity to power human connectivity.” Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Director, BIG.