Summary

The growth in EV uptake will require, and be supported by, the provision of necessary electrical infrastructure for new developments. Koto City (a special ward located in the Tokyo Metropolis in Japan) is taking steps to make such provisions available in new buildings and major redevelopments, thereby curtailing costs that could be brought on by the need for future retrofitting. With significant construction taking place in preparation for the 2020 Olympics, city planners are anticipating urban realities several decades ahead and incorporating expectations into construction happening now and in the immediate future. City planners, policymakers, and stakeholders have recognised the preparation for a major event as an opportunity worth harnessing.

 

Results

Located on the waterfront of Tokyo Bay, 80% of Koto’s rapidly growing population lives in multi-unit dwellings. Approximately 70 new apartment blocks are being constructed yearly with more expected, especially with the upcoming 2020 Olympics.xiii Under these revised planning guidelines, which went into effect in 2010, parking lots for new condos are encouraged to have sufficient EV charging facilities for more than 10 percent of the total parking spaces. The number of EV ready new multi-unit dwellings increased from 5 out of 29 in 2010 to 49 out of 263 in 2013, laying the foundation for increased LEV uptake in the area.xiv This type of initiative was a first for Japan.

 

Reasons for Success

The city anticipated more favourable conditions for LEV uptake in the future and recognised that installing charging infrastructure would curtail retrofitting costs by simplifying the installation process, making better provision for the changing needs of its citizens, and avoiding any future disruption by accounting for future LEV uptake at the time of new construction. By seizing the opportunity that came with development for the Olympics, the city was able to incorporate provisions for long-term trends and future realities.

 

When/why a city might adopt an approach like this

Cities, especially those that are anticipating major urban redevelopment and new builds for a growing population and/or hosting global events, can use the approach of Koto City to new construction projects, ensuring future LEV uptake is accounted for now. In addition, cities that want to create a better environment for electric vehicles, but may not necessarily be anticipating major new development, can incorporate LEV infrastructure into planning guidelines as a requirement for all new and large-scale development to cut potential future costs.

 

C40 Good Practice Guides

C40's Good Practice Guides offer mayors and urban policymakers roadmaps for tackling climate change, reducing climate risk and encouraging sustainable urban development. With 100 case studies taken from cities of every size, geography and stage of development around the world, the Good Practice Guides provide tangible examples of climate solutions that other cities can learn from. 

The Low Emission Vehicles Good Practice Guide is available for download here.  The full collection of C40 Good Practice Guides is available for download here.  

All references can be found in the full guide.