by Rebecca De Cicco, Director, Digital Node

This month we have once again been supporting BSI in the delivery of virtual training on smart cities to construction industry professionals in Japan.

There is a firm appetite in Japan for smart city technology and in May this year, there were over 50 new project proposals and requests from local governments to central Japanese government for smart city funding. However, only five areas nationwide will be set up as officially designated smart city zones. 

The government is due to formally start soliciting proposals throughout the Autumn, after which it is predicted the government will decide the winners by the end of the year – with firmer plans expected to be realized after 2022. 

Japan also plans to use the Osaka 2025 World Expo to showcase some of its smart “super” city technologies.

In 2016, Japan launched a five-year national strategy which incorporates the Society 5.0 initiative. A vision of a new super-smart society where technologies such as big data, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and robots fuse into every industry and across all social segments. 

The hope is that this information revolution will be able to solve currently impossible problems, making everyday life more sustainable.

This vision means that everyone, regardless of location, including the elderly population in rural areas, receives the benefits of innovation and advancements in technology. Society 5.0 emphasises solving such social issues while harmonising sustainability and economic growth.

Part of the process in realising Society 5.0 is the understanding and implementation of smart city processes and technologies. As such, there has been an increase in demand for training in these areas, specifically in this region of the world. 

The training we delivered focused on the international suite of standards discussing smart and resilient cities. This series was developed as a response to the UK Smart City Agenda and the PAS suite of standards which are now translated as international and used globally. 

Authored by Digital Node training specialists, our smart cities courses explore the requirements of the smart city framework and how to develop a smart city concept model in line with ISO 37106:2018 – Sustainable cities and communities — Guidance on establishing smart city operating models for sustainable communities. 

The course allowed our delegates to understand the core requirements of a Smart City in line with the international standards and gain a deep understanding of the nature of smart systems and technologies. The content was very much an introduction to the definitions, requirements and solutions for smart cities as a concept and we hope to deliver more advanced training on the requirements around ISO 37106 certification as well as example organisations offering smart city technologies and offerings across the globe.

Smart Cities are certainly high on the national agenda for Japan and there is growing interest in smart city standards. We foster consistent and focused solutions for smart cities and work with regional leaders to support their smart city strategies. Courses such as this one are fundamental to the implementation of smart cities and will assist in achieving long-term visions for a country in pursuit of a new sustainability-led society.