Thailand aiming for 100 smart cities

Some cities are big cities. Some are fun cities. Thailand’s government wants 100 of its urban centers to be smart cities in the next few years, and nearly 40 local administrations have submitted proposals mapping out how they will achieve that status.

A smart city uses digital technology to connect, protect, and enhance the lives of its citizens. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, video cameras, social media, and other technologies act as a nervous system, providing the government and citizens with constant feedback so they can make informed decisions.

Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) says the Kingdom’s smart cities must address seven dimensions: economy, mobility, energy, living, people, governance and environment. Besides Bangkok, six provinces already have smart cities: Phuket, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao.

DEPA President Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin said his agency and the Department of Local Administration (DLA) have signed an agreement to work on smart city development jointly.

“The cooperation with the DLA in driving and developing smart cities is an important step in encouraging more municipalities to get prepared and submit their smart city proposals,” Nuttapon said.

The smart city project’s goal is to improve quality of life, make services and administration more efficient, and distribute prosperity to citizens living in provincial areas, he said.

He also believes that smart cities will have an advantage in creating jobs and driving economic growth.

And a smart city does not have to be a city, Nuttapon added. It could be a broader area with the potential to be developed using the technologies and mindsets that define the smart city concept.

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