Thailand sets smart cities in motion in the ASEAN region

By 2022, Thailand wants to have built 100 smart cities across the nation 

A bird’s eye view of the traffic in Chong Nonsi, Bangkok, Thailand. AnuchaSirivisansuwan/Shutterstock

Months before the COVID-19 pandemic devastated countries across the globe, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gathered for the 2019 summit to discuss how they could improve their partnership to achieve sustainable security and development, particularly in terms of harnessing and regulating technology, as well as boosting connectivity and cooperation  

During this conclaveThailand presented the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative under the Thailand 4.0 economic blueprint to convert three provinces into smart cities, which has been a successful endeavour thus far. This initiative aims to develop a hub for regional transportation, investment, trade and a strategic gateway to Asia – and the kingdom is confident that their scheme would encourage a harmonious relationship between ASEAN nations.  

By 2022, Thailand wants to have developed 100 smart cities across the nation and to achieve this, they formed an alliance with the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), a Thai government agency, and the global network of City Possible, a Mastercard-pioneered model for urban innovation.  

The City Possible program, which is devised to “make technology work for people” by coordinating with key stakeholders to address urban problems, has already inducted 27 Thai smart cities. It enables members to have unparalleled access to a global community of academics, NGOs, businesses and urban leaders, as well as exclusive invites to an array of knowledge-exchange seminars where participants can discuss common challenges, share each of their learnings and develop holistic urban solutions.  

“Cities around the world face similar challenges but they are too often solving in isolation. City Possible connects cities with insights and resources from cities around the world which accelerates progress and enables smart governance,” said Miguel Gamiño Jr, executive vice president of Global Cities at Mastercard. 

More: Embracing 5G in Thailand and China: What can property businesses and private consumers expect in 2020?

Last 7th of July, depa updated that the provinces of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Chon Buri, Rayong, Phuket and Chachoengsao have already started the smart city transformation process. 

Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, the National Steering Committee on Smart City Development has opened application for cities that want to be involved. Those interested can submit their proposition for assessment and approval. Since the start of the application, 39 cities have already sent their proposals. 

To receive approval for smart city development, depa said that these cities must meet the following criteria: 

  • Clear geographical boundaries and smart city goals 
  • Infrastructure investment and development plan 
  • Design for an open and secure city data platform 
  • Smart city solutions 
  • Sustainable management model 

Once a city is approved, they will be entitled to utilise the Smart City Thailand logo and will be permitted to apply for investment privileges from the Board of Investment. 

The deputy prime minister added that the project does not only cover cities, but also wider areas that have the potential to be transformed using the smart city concept. 

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“The goal of the smart city project is to answer diverse needs and distribute prosperity to citizens living in provincial areas,” he added. 

2020 Thailand Property Awards second judges meeting last 23rd of July

Looking forward to Thailand’s future in pioneering smart cities in ASEAN is our team here at PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards. As a nudge of encouragement, we have added the Best Smart City Block award to our Special Awards category for the 15th Thailand Property Awards. Specially chosen by the judges, the recipient will be honoured for their support in helping the kingdom take one step closer to achieving its ultimate goal.  

Know of any award-worthy homes, condos, flats or other real estate projects in Thailand? Nominate them for the 15th Thailand Property Awards on or before 21 August 2020! Simply visit asiapropertyawards.com/en/award/thailand-property-awards/ for more details.