Gartner Research

Using IT to Build Urban Resilience Into Japan's Smart Cities

Published: 26 September 2013

ID: G00256976

Analyst(s): Bettina Tratz-Ryan , Nagayoshi Nakano


Smart city projects in Japan use a master governance plan that includes disaster resilience, social inclusion and optimized energy and utility infrastructures. Technology and service providers will need to understand these priorities to build competitive offerings for smart cities.

Table Of Contents
  • Impacts


Impacts and Recommendations

  • As a result of the devastating Tohuku earthquake in 2011, Japanese smart city projects will be driven by an urban infrastructure and a services environment that incorporates safety, resilience and citizen security as a priority
  • Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry (METI) started the large-scale Smart Community Project in April 2012 with local government organizations and private sector companies, including many IT vendors. They are jointly conducting projects in eight of Tohoku's regions (see Table 1), and are aiming to reconstruct the cities and strengthen strength them against the kind of disasters experienced during and after what is known in Japan as the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
  • To realize safety and security for citizens, smart city projects in Japan will be conducted with a strong focus on disaster-proof energy and utility grids as well as transportation, logistics and communications infrastructure
  • Aging populations, low incomes and a wide range of languages have led to challenges in social inclusion. Smart cities are expected to solve or at least mitigate these urban issues, by building a "citizen mutual assistance system"

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