Smart city is the vision to develop the city to achieve the economic, social and environmental sustainability under the different and various goals, for example the technological-advanced city, city suitable for living, city which balances the living and the economic development, etc.
Nowadays, many cities around the world are developed under the smart city theme with different details. But the distinguished feature is the high technology implementation to achieve the efficient city administration and development. At present, Thailand has 3 model cities developed under the smart city vision which are Phuket, Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai.
Phuket Smart City : Innovation model city
Phuket Smart City is the most evident technology model city. This project is initiated under the cooperation between the private sector and DEPA. To establish the city’s sustainability, Phuket is envisioned to support the investment in the digital business, since the tourism resource of the city, such as the sea and beach, has been enormously deteriorated.
Mr. Pracha Assawathira, the Director of the Phuket DEPA office, explained that the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Phuket DEPA office, cooperate with the partner agencies such as NECTEC, to launch the pilot project “Phuket Smart City” which comprises 2 cities; Patong municipality and Phuket municipality, covering 28.4 square km. from the total area of 540 square km. of the province. The project emphasizes on the smart economy and smart living community.
To create a smart city, it requires 3 factors;
1. Smart Economy : It is the support for the 2nd stage industry in Phuket, emphasizing on technology and human resource. The city will be the center of the digital developers in the form of the research center or innovation center. The tourism industry will be encouraged to adopt the smart technology for the higher business efficiency.
2. Smart Living Community : It will be a safe city, either on land or in water. CCTV will be used for surveillance, in cooperation with the face recognition system. The system will detect and follow the wrong-doer, and further notify the officer.
3. Smart Sensor : The sensor and IoT technology can detect the weather condition, sea condition and any abnormality. When the abnormal condition is found, the system will alert the center to timely deal with the situation.
At present, aside from the governmental investment amounting to approximate 200 million Baht for the infrastructure, Phuket Municipality cooperates with the private sector to establish a company to develop the city under the civil state concept. The company is named Phuket City Development Co., Ltd. (PKCD) and is consisted of 12 affiliated companies, administrating 4 aspects;
1.City planning 2. Electrical and water infrastructure 3. The leading tourism city of the world
4. Smart city
Khon Kaen : When the private sector cooperates on the city development
Based on the current condition and goal for a sustainable city, Khon Kaen lays the base of its sustainability different from Phuket. With the determination of the city development, the new generation of businessmen from 20 companies invest more than 30 million Baht to develop Khon Kaen to be the city most suitable for the living and investment.
Mr. Suradech Thaweesaengsakulthai, the businessman of the new generation and a founder of Khon Kaen City Development (KKTT) Co., Ltd. asserted that now businessmen in Khon Kaen mutually develop Khon Kaen for its sustainable growth. They have gathered and discussed the issue for more than 7 years, aiming to change Khon Kaen to suit the living and promote its sustainability.
The smart city concept is implemented with the different goal and conditions in each city. Some cities emphasize on the infrastructure development, such as the high-speed internet and IoT connection. But they still face the basic problems, such as traffic jam. Some cities are waiting for the budget from the government. But Khon Kaen will have the private sector as the key player of the city development under the framework of economic and social sustainability.
The city development in Khon Kaen starts from the proper city planning and changing the city to be the economic center to attract the investment. The digital technology is a factor to develop the city and launch the new service in response to the public demands, for example the public buses with GPS. With the mobile application, the commuters will know the bus schedule and the arrival time at each bus stop, and they do not need to wait for the bus, not knowing exactly when it would arrive.
The Khon Kaen model is interesting in terms of the speed of their study, plan determination and progress.