Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City
Kashiwa, a city with a land area of 115 square kilometers (44 sq mi) and a population of just over 400,000, is in Chiba Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo in Japan’s Kanto region. Though home to companies in food processing and other industries, as well as a professional soccer team, it is now best known as the home of Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City. Currently being developed on 273 hectares (675 ac) in northwestern Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City was launched in 2005 with the opening of Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station on the Tsukuba Express train line. The land is divided into 299 parcels, to be subdivided further into blocks with interconnecting streets and pathways. Initial development is taking place in parcels 147, 148, 149, 150, and 151. This 42-hectare (104 ac) group of parcels extends outward from Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station and encompasses the University of Tokyo Kashiwa Campus, Chiba University Kashiwa-no-ha Campus, Kashiwa-no-ha Park, and industrial areas.
Accessible from Tokyo in less than an hour by train, Kashiwa-no-ha is an area rich in natural beauty as well as the home of a concentration of academic and research institutions. Creation of the grand design for the project was from the beginning a collaborative endeavor, with Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa, the University of Tokyo, and Chiba University involved in the planning and deliberation.