Toyota Woven City

Toyota envisions world’s first living laboratory for mobility innovations

Toyota Woven City

Toyota envisions world’s first living laboratory for mobility innovations

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Toyota Motor Corporation joined hands in 2018 to create a carbon-neutral smart city with an innovative multi-modal mobility system in Susono, Japan.


Toyota Woven City, occupying a former factory site, is dedicated to research into future of autonomous vehicles, robotics and hydrogen-powered infrastructure.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

Toyota Woven City is conceived as an urban incubator to test and advance mobility systems, autonomous vehicles, connectivity, hydrogen-powered infrastructure, building automation and industry collaboration. The project aims to bring communities together in a technologically futuristic city which has a strong alignment with nature and history of the region.


An axonometric massing render illustrates how Toyota Woven City is integrated with landforms, rivers and vegetation in Susono.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

This new urban centre replaces the 175-acre former factory site in the foothills of Mount Fuji in Susono, Shizuoka. The proposed masterplan makes a case for a future spatial structure that separates different pathways for movement.

Knitted infrastructural grid

One of the major issues faced by modern cities is vehicular congestion, coupled with overcrowding, pollution and degrading infrastructure. Toyota Woven City is an attempt to resolve these issues and provide a comfortable and healthy urban environment.


The urban green spaces are positioned strategically to be easily accessed by the residents of the city.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

Under this vision, BIG’s design aims to treat all forms of mobility — pedestrian, vehicular and alternate — equally. A dynamic grid of streets accommodates developments of several scales amidst pockets of social space.

The urban grid starts with three types of arteries: a primary street for faster autonomous vehicles, a recreational promenade for micro-mobility types and, finally, a linear park for people and nature.


The first category of arteries, the primary street, is to be shared by autonomous vehicles and pedestrians.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

Vehicles such as the autonomous Toyota e-Palette offer delivery services and shared transportation while also functioning as mobile retail spaces and medical clinics. There are also secure and serene pathways that connect to an ecological corridor linking the Susono Valley with Mount Fuji.


The second category of pathways, the recreational promenade, is reserved for pedestrians and micro-mobility vehicles such as bicycles and scooters.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

The linear park, the third category of connectors, aims to offer pedestrians an immersive biophilic experience.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

The streets delineate 3 x 3 urban blocks, 150 metres wide each. The peripheral roads are assigned to vehicles whilst the inner ones are exclusive to pedestrians and cyclists.

The eight buildings that form the edges of a block frame a central courtyard. By injecting distinct characteristics into each block, a variety of neighbourhoods can be created.


Toyota Woven City masterplan promises a new kind of mobility experience with, at its core, three categories of connectors that form urban blocks, each consisting of nine buildings and a shared central space. Multiple blocks can be further mapped out to create a larger urban plaza.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

The masterplan for a district within the Toyota Woven City consists of multiple urban blocks. A large plaza, serving as a central public space, is achieved by distorting the grid. The distortion further aids in generating different programmatic spaces and community outdoor areas of varying orders and moods.


The massing model highlights the Toyota Woven City’s network of streets and social spaces that are arranged as a grid.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

The distortion of the grid creates pockets of formal and informal social spaces, such as this main plaza.
© Bjarke Ingels Group
Traditional timber meets modern automation

The primary construction material for retail, business centres and housing is wood which complements the low-carbon goals for the development.

Photovoltaic panels are installed on roofs for renewable energy production which further reduces the carbon footprint.


Mass timber is the primary construction material for all buildings in the Toyota Woven City, chosen for its availability and low-carbon attributes.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

Toyota’s research and development spaces house robotic construction, 3D printing, and mobility labs. The offices display flexible workstations with lounges and indoor gardens.


Toyota’s research and development facilities will host labs for 3D printing, mobility, and robotic construction.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

Within the Woven City residences, pioneering technologies, including in-home robotics, are being trialled to elevate the quality of daily life. These sophisticated homes harness seamless connectivity through sensor-based AI technology, enabling automated services such as grocery deliveries, laundry pickups and waste disposal.


The building interiors, such as office spaces, are designed to high space standards and strive to achieve occupant well-being.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

The residential apartments will be fitted with robotics and smart home systems, which rely on sensor-based artificial intelligence that will improve quality of life.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

The city’s utilities and logistics infrastructure are discretely placed underground. It includes facilities such as hydrogen power, stormwater filtration and the “Matternet,” a network designed for the efficient delivery of goods.


Toyota Woven City’s approach to mobility seeks to make urban living pleasurable and safe, thereby increasing human and social capital.
© Bjarke Ingels Group

Construction on the project commenced in 2021, with Phase 1 slated for completion in 2024. Subsequent trials will commence in 2025 and the project is expected to initially host 360 residents, eventually increasing to 2,000 people in the long term.

The central question that Toyota Woven City asks on the shape of future urban centres is how the new ideas on mobility can be integrated into urban planning. The masterplan anticipates a time when privately own cars will be phased out, autonomous vehicles will be run on-demand and pedestrians will be prioritised.

This project, amongst other ideas about future cities, was discussed in season 4, episode 1 of the Ecogradia podcast interview with Bjarke Ingels, BIG’s founding partner.

A Novel project is innovative in one or two ways, say, material use, passive design, community engagement, etc. Performance, here, might be discussed in quantitative or qualitative ways.

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Fact Sheet

Disclaimer: Location provided as reference only. Exact site may differ.

Under the Köppen climate classification, these are ‘C’ climate types. Temperate climates have mild winters and summers where the average in the warmest month is higher than 10°C and the coldest does not drop below 0° C. This climate is common along coastal regions.

There are no performance metrics for this project.

Client
Toyota Motor Corporation

Architects
Bjarke Ingels Group

Team
Bjarke Ingels
Leon Rost
Yu Inamoto
Giulia Frittoli
Agla Egilsdottir
Alvaro Velosa
Brian Zhang
Fernando Longhi
Jennifer Son
John Hein
Joseph Baisch
Mai Lee
Margherita Gistri
Minjung Ku
Nicolas Lapierre
Peter Sepassi
Raven Xu
Samantha Okolita
Shane Dalke
Thomas McMurtrie
Yi Lun Yang
Nasiq Kahn
Jeffrey Shumaker

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