Tokyo Bay Is Changing! A Massive Project for 2100 Has Begun

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Faced with the spread of COVID-19, climate change, and other issues that need to be addressed on a global scale, what measures has the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) put in place? Here, we explore the city's future as envisioned by the "Tokyo Bay eSG Project" announced in April 2021.
A concept image of the future Tokyo Bay Area, where nature and technology will be tightly integrated.

The Future of the City Shared Out of the Bay Area

Facing the threat of infectious disease, global warming, and other global crises that could jeopardize people's daily lives, various countermeasures are now being taken around the world. Among them, the Tokyo Bay eSG Project announced by TMG is attracting attention. It is a massive project that looks to overcome such crises by rethinking the nature of society in relation to its urban structures, aiming to create a sustainable city over the next 50 to 100 years.

The project is set in the Tokyo Waterfront City area, with its well-balanced mix of work, residential, academic, and recreational facilities including those related to the Tokyo 2020 Games, as well as the vast Central Breakwater area made of reclaimed land. In addition to being equipped with one of Japan's leading logistics terminals, the area is also located in an environment blessed with a natural waterfront, leading it to be selected as the best place to carry out the project.

Taking advantage of this favorable geographic location, the aim is to create a zero-emission city through digital technology. In addition to the original ESG concepts (Environment, Social, and Governance), the "eSG" in the project's name also includes the connotations of ecology, economy, and epoch-making technology, illustrating the vision the city should aim for.

"The Tokyo Bay eSG Project serves as a model for post-COVID cities that are both sustainable and economically viable," says Yanagisawa Masahiro, Director of the Tokyo Bay eSG Project Promotion.

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The Tokyo Waterfront City (center) and Central Breakwater Reclamation Area (bottom). iStock.com/Barks_japan

What Are the Medium-Term Goals for 2030?

In order to make this vision a reality, TMG has established medium-term goals and is poised to work towards them using a staged approach. First is outfitting the area with cutting-edge technology by 2030.

Specific measures include developing a network of 5G telecommunications infrastructure, installing wind, floating solar, and other power generation systems suited to the Bay Area, establishing an energy management system, and building a local public transportation model using Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs).

The intent is to involve startups and other companies working on developing new technologies in promoting the project. "We want to overcome the dual crises of COVID-19 and climate change together with the people of Tokyo," says Yanagisawa, expressing his eagerness for both the public and private sectors to work together in planning the area.

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A large-scale implementation of the best of Japan's digital technologies, including drones and flying vehicles.

A Tokyo Opened Up to Startups

The goal of the project is to create a major hub that gathers startups from Japan and abroad with a central focus on decarbonizing 100% of the energy used in the area while promoting digital transformation (DX). It looks to make the Bay Area a model city for the world that constantly delivers new value by opening it up as a place for companies to work on various approaches to green and sustainable initiatives and create innovative technologies.

By sharing its achievements with the rest of the world, the project aims to attract further investment, creating a virtuous cycle that will also help make the world-leading Global Financial City: Tokyo a reality.

To make the city attractive to people, it is of course essential to also seek out ways to make it comfortable in terms of ease of living and how people spend their time. The project will not only build parks and green spaces but will also create an environment where people can experience greenery no matter the setting. TMG is also committed to creating attractions unique to the Bay Area, supporting efforts such as those to improve the area's water quality through green technology in an aim to make a "swimmable Tokyo Bay."

"What we can do in the face of global crises is imagine what the Tokyo of the future will look like and take steps one by one towards making it a reality. We will continue to listen to a wide range of opinions and respond quickly to the changing times and circumstances as we move forward with the project" (Yanagisawa).

Tokyo will show the world what kind of city humanity should be aiming for. At this turning point in history, hopes and expectations for the vision of the future put forth by TMG are growing higher and higher.

Tokyo Bay eSG Project

A project set in the Tokyo Bay Area as a vision for the city's urban development over the next 50 to 100 years. Version 1.0 established in April 2021.
Writing by Wada Masayo / Translation by Amitt