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Collaborative Strategies for Thailand’s Smart Cities

Creating a smart city for the nation requires a collaborative effort among various stakeholders, including government bodies, private enterprises, technology innovators, and, most importantly, citizens. The development and implementation of smart city initiatives demand a synchronised approach to urban planning, technology integration, and sustainable practices.

Image credits: mhesi.go.th

To achieve this, Thailand should emphasise enhancing intelligent public infrastructure, encompassing transportation, energy, and water systems. Additionally, efforts would be directed towards improving the workforce’s skills through digital training and establishing connections between Thai cities and global innovation networks to encourage investments and attract skilled individuals. Thailand has been making noteworthy progress in its cooperative initiatives to advance its smart city aspirations, propelled by a unified dedication among diverse stakeholders.

Thailand serves as a pivotal platform for showcasing strategies and insights to drive urban space transformation. Dr Kitti Satjawattana, Director of the Capital Administration and Management Unit (BMTA), shared insights into the collaborative approach, emphasising the crucial role of coordination among network partners at various levels.

One of the telecommunications companies in Thailand has also joined forces with network partners to establish the “Thailand Smart City Network Partners,” marking a significant stride in advancing the development of livable and smart cities in Thailand. This collaborative initiative is poised to align with the distinct needs and aspirations outlined in the 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan.

Further, Dr Kitti highlighted the strategic coordination with network partners at various levels, including policy influencers such as the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDB), Office of the Science Promotion Board Research and Innovation (NRCT), Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA), and the World Bank. The collaboration extends to university networks, such as Mahasarakham University, Prince of Songkla University, Khon Kaen University, Naresuan University, Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, Burapha University, Chiang Mai University, and King Mongkut’s University of Technology Ladkrabang. It also encompasses several private sector partners to foster this initiative.

Image credits: mhesi.go.th

The approach involves creating tangible cooperation to propel livable cities’ strategy from formulation to practical implementation, aptly termed “Policy in Action.” To institutionalise this effort, network partners across various levels have collaboratively established the “Smart City Alliance Thailand.” The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s (BMTA) role within this alliance is pivotal, offering support for the academic processes essential for driving research plans focused on developing livable central and smart cities. The ultimate goal is to elevate the economic landscape while addressing issues of inequality within the country.

The alliance is committed to supporting the knowledge base and tools essential for managing entire city systems, bringing together academics, experts, and relevant organisations. Dr Kitti emphasised the importance of involving stakeholders from academic institutions, government agencies, civil society, the community sector, the private sector, and other related partners in the development process. They aim to create and promote policy proposals related to the research-driven development of livable central and smart cities.

Dr Poon Thiangburanatham, Deputy Director of Organisational Planning and Strategy at BMTA, provided further insights into the initiative. The datasets generated through research and innovation will form a robust foundation for developing a comprehensive smart city across seven dimensions. These include smart energy management, smart environmental management, smart mobility, smart economic opportunities, smart people development, smart living convenience and safety, and smart governance with transparent management. The collaborative approach ensures that the smart city’s holistic development addresses diverse urban living and governance aspects.

This collaboration will impact Thailand’s smart city initiatives, integrating research, innovation, and multi-stakeholder cooperation. The alliance aims to enhance citizens’ quality of life and happiness by fostering sustainable and technology-driven urban environments, keeping with the objectives outlined in the 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2023-2027).


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