Thailand targets 100 smart cities hinh anh 1Electricity poles and cables along Sukhumvit Road have been removed as part of the Smart Metro project (Photo:
Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) has set a goal to have 100 smart cities nationwide to improve the economy and quality of life in line with the 20-year national strategy plan.

Cities in six provinces plus Bangkok have begun the process of transforming into smart cities. The provinces are Phuket, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao.

The National Steering Committee on Smart City Development, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, has opened the application process to cities that want to join the scheme by submitting their proposals for evaluation and approval since May. A total of 39 cities have submitted proposals.

To get approval for smart city development, they must meet five criteria: have clear geographical boundaries and smart city goals; have infrastructure investment and a development plan; have a design for an open and secure city data platform; provide smart city solutions; and have a sustainable management model.

Approved cities are entitled to use the Smart City Thailand logo and are allowed to apply for investment privileges from the Board of Investment.

The characteristics of smart cities under the planned development cover seven smart city dimensions: economy, mobility, energy, living, people, governance and environment.

DEPA President and Chief Executive Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin said the project is not limited to cities and could cover broad areas where there is potential to be developed under the smart city concept.

To pursue the project, city development companies involving state and private cooperation must be established to help move smart city schemes forward through private sector funding, he said.

The agency and the Department of Local Administration (DLA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue smart city development with an aim to enhance local management efficiency that can meet people's needs.

According to Nuttapon, the goal of the smart city project is to answer diverse needs and distribute prosperity to citizens living in provincial areas. Smart cities are expected to help create jobs and boost the economy./.