Making Fukuoka Smart East a reality: "Now" and "in the future" (3-part series)
～ Part 2: How will we cope with the declining birthrate and aging population?
Fukuoka City is known as a vibrant and comfortable city to live in, but the effects of the declining birthrate and aging population are also affecting the city. Fukuoka Smart East aims to create a model city that we can be proud of in the future by promoting various initiatives now to solve various social issues associated with the declining birthrate and aging population through technology and other means.
[Labor Shortage due to Declining Birthrate and Aging Population]
With the aging society and declining birthrate, the number of elderly people in need of care is expected to increase while there will be a shortage of workers and bearers of services that have been provided by human power. However, in order to ensure that human power is invested in things that only people can do, it is necessary to replace the things that can be done without people with new innovations.
Fukuoka City believes that by utilizing ever-evolving cutting-edge technology and groundbreaking ideas, we can realize the goals of Fukuoka Smart East and create a smart city that we can be proud of in the future. This is town planning through "technical assistance" that implements innovations.
[Efforts toward Implementation]
When trying to implement cutting-edge technology or groundbreaking ideas that are not yet familiar to society, there is a possibility that potential users will become anxious or wait and see. Therefore, Fukuoka City is engaged in demonstrative experiments to lower the psychological hurdles for users and familiarize them with the technology through hands-on experience.
In a demonstrative experiment to install street lights equipped with cameras, we received encouraging feedback that the technology can help watch over the elderly and children and detect suspicious persons. In addition, during the hands-on experience of automated mobility vehicles that move at the same speed as walking, parents and children and people with disabilities were invited to ride the vehicles and they voiced their expectations for this new means of transportation.
We intend to continue these demonstrative experiments in the future.
[Image of a smart city]
For example, a town where cameras and various sensors are installed throughout the town so that security guards can promptly rush to the scene in the event of suspicious behavior, crouching down someone in distress, or an incident or accident; people can go out after checking the status of crowded facilities and various outdoor risks in advance; by utilizing wearable devices as well, the location and safety information of children, the elderly, and people with dementia, who are especially in need of careful watching over, can be checked even when they are far away from home.
(Camera detects someone in distress and notifies the security guard.)
(Sensors provide location information to families of children commuting to school)
For example, by using apps and websites, people can consult with doctors and nurses promptly from the comfort of their homes, complete medical examinations and check-ups at hospitals without waiting, have medicines delivered from pharmacies to their homes, and receive advice on health maintenance and promotion according to their individual health conditions and needs.
For example, a town with a regional transportation infrastructure that meets the mobility needs of a variety of people, including children, the elderly, people with disabilities, families, and people who live, work, and visit by combining multiple types of mobility (personal, walking speed, automated, cruising, shared-ride, etc.).
Such a smart city would be a safe and convenient town that responds to the declining birthrate and aging population, and would make people want to live, work, and visit.
Of course, the content of this report is only an example to give you an idea of a smart city, and many of the things you have already seen, held, or experienced may not have been new to you. We must also carefully examine whether or not they can be implemented exactly as they are in the smart city that Fukuoka Smart East is aiming for.
What is important is not how cutting-edge or groundbreaking the technology or idea is, but that the "technical assistance" is the optimal solution for solving various social issues, and that the optimal solution is welcomed and widely used by various people.
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