Tokyo—January 31, 2020—Hakuhodo Inc., Japanʼs second largest advertising company, is pleased to announce that its MIRAI (Future) Business Division, an organization that develops new businesses, and Sumitomo Corporation (“Sumitomo”) will together start testing a service that enables residents of the same community to share semi-essential goods through a communal container set up in their town or a common area. The initiative is part of Hakuhodo’s efforts to develop businesses toward realizing sei-katsu-sha–led smart cities.
The first proof-of-concept test will take place from February 1 to mid-April at Shimokita Senrogai Akichi, a communal space in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, managed by Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd.
As smart city initiatives ramp up, Hakuhodo is in the process of considering various businesses from sei-katsu-sha insight perspectives, toward realizing “sei-katsu-sha–led smart cities” that citizens create themselves through their love of their city. We believe that creating real and digital points of contact (interfaces) for deepening relations between citizens and their town is essential to enlivening communities, a particularly important aspect of the smart cities endeavor.
The sharing service being developed by Hakuhodo and Sumitomo will support the sharing (lending and borrowing) of goods between residents living within a radius of several kilometers of each other. As a base for sharing, shared containers will be set up in public spaces such as parks and vacant lots, and in communal space in housing complexes and apartment buildings, to store the items to be shared. By utilizing semi-essential items that are handy to have access to from time to time but not essential to own personally, such as leisure goods, power tools and travel goods, which can be owned and lent out by the city or community, or shared peer-to-peer by local residents, the initiative aims to generate interactions and cooperation between residents, fostering a greater sense of community.
It is hoped that the initiative will also be an effective means for building new communities as the rules for the use of public spaces in Japan are revised through Park-PFI (a system that allows the private sector to finance, design, construct and operate facilities in public spaces), and as the population of housing complexes age.
Several tests will be conducted, with the first to take place at Shimokita Senrogai Akichi, five minutes’ walk from Shimo-Kitazawa Station. A container storing around 50 items will be placed within the space, and the items in high demand, usage rates, and whether the program prompts lending and borrowing between residents verified.
Hakuhodo’s partner in the test, Sumitomo, is developing a large smart city in the north of Hanoi, Vietnam, and is considering commercializing this project with Hakuhodo with a view to utilizing it as a means of invigorating the community in the new city and as a town management measure.
Hakuhodo will continue to work with external partners to actively develop new business with the goal of realizing sei-katsu-sha–led smart cities, and creating new lifestyles of the future.
Outline of the first test
• Test period: February 1 to mid-April 2020 (tentative)
• Test area: Shimokita Senrogai Akichi (Setagaya-ku, Tokyo) https://senrogai.com/akichi/ (in Japanese)
• Test content: Verification of receptivity toward a sharing service for semi-essential goods
• Organized by: Sumitomo Corporation, Hakuhodo Inc. | Operated by: SEEDATA Inc.
This project is undertaken by Hakuhodo’s MIRAI (Future) Business Division, a unit that develops new businesses.
■ About Hakuhodo’s MIRAI (Future) Business Division
Launched in 2019, the MIRAI (Future) Business Division is a unit dedicated to developing new businesses. With a policy of “collective business creation,” Hakuhodo itself becomes an owner of the businesses the Division develops, linking a variety of partners to realize large businesses. By creating businesses that leverage Hakuhodo’s strengths in sei-katsu-sha insight and creativity, beyond the businesses themselves, the Division is taking on the challenges of creating future lifestyles and society.
http://mirai-biz.jp/ (in Japanese)