Environmental Balance, Compact Cities and Smart Grids
Turning points that Japan is facing, such as population decline and development of IT technology, necessitate the creation of a sustainable city in response. If a compact city were to be formed, a variety of results could be expected, such as reduction in the amount of energy needed for transportation, reduction of infrastructure maintenance costs for roads and electrical power and reduction of environmental burden. However, verification of energy and CO2 reduction due to city structure reform is insufficient.
Therefore, this research aims to contribute to the formation of a sustainable city by verifying energy and CO2 reduction that would occur in the creation of a compact city.
Specifically, we conduct the following:
1) energy efficiency from the introduction of a smart grid (IT system that automatically controls power supply and demand).
2) Evaluation of environmental balance via ecological footprint (an index for comprehensive evaluation by converting activity costs and CO2 emissions into areas) and sustainability index evaluation.
3) Analysis on CO2 emissions and city structure.
Past research has revealed the following:
1) Appropriate power interchange price, etc., when using the smart grid varies by city structure.
2) Environmental burden tends to increase with sprawl (disorganized and unplanned urban development), and cooperation between local governments creates the possibility of achieving environmental balance.
3) The smaller the city is, the lower automobile CO2 emissions are.
Moving forward, we will proceed with analysis of environmental burden in consideration of power conversion efficiency and introduction of autonomous automobiles.
Reference: Detailed websites related to this research topic
- Environmental solutions (achieving environmental balance):
- Shaping the city (compact cities):
- Environmental solutions (low carbonization and smart communities):
Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems, University of Tsukuba
Researcher, National Institute for Environmental Studies
Counsellor, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, (Reconstruction Agency)
Chief, Pacific Consultants
Doctoral Student (RA), Department of Policy and Planning Sciences, University of Tsukuba