Smart Cities: From San Diego to Osaka

David Adler (SDGBC) and Mino High School (Osaka, Japan) students at the Gensler San Diego office.


On Friday August 2nd 2019, 40 students from Mino High School in Osaka Japan visited downtown San Diego as part of their SKYUS study abroad program. The focus of their study abroad program was to: learn what makes San Diego a Smart City, what technology is being used in green buildings, and what innovative or creative solutions could be brought back to their home city of Osaka.

Gensler San Diego was kind enough to open their doors to the students and give a presentation and tour of their office on 225 Broadway. The students learned how Gensler’s office incorporates innovative passive and mechanical heating and cooling systems, indoor air quality monitoring as well as their commitment to health and wellness by pursuing the WELL building standard.

After the Gensler studio presentation and tour, the students met with the City of San Diego’s Clean Tech Program Manager, Jacques Chirazi. Jacques was able to offer the students valuable insight into what technology the City would like to implement and is already implementing to be a Smart City. Students were able to ask questions and began to formulate their own ideas on how technology and sustainability practices could be utilized in Osaka.

On the final day of the study abroad program, students presented to a panel of local experts on what they had learned during their time and San Diego and their ideas on how to make Osaka a more sustainable and Smart City. Some examples included incorporating more renewable energy into Osaka, alternative transportation, innovative cooling and heating ideas for buildings, better waste management practices and using AI for communicating with non-Japanese speakers.

Special thank you to Daichi Saito (Gensler), Evgeniya Chadovich (Gensler) and Jacques Chirazi (City of San Diego) for participating.

Authored by David Adler, San Diego Green Building Council.

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