Thammasat University – A Prototype for Smart City to Promote Sustainable Development

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Program Management Unit on Area Based Development (PMUA) selected Thammasat University to be a prototype for ‘smart’ community in Pathumthani province by accelerating research on “smart city integration” plan to promote sustainable development for the university using the Center of Academic Excellence in Research and Innovation for City Transport as the regulatory authority to drive all projects.

Associate Professor Dr Pawinee Iamtrakul, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University, states that the project is funded by the Program Management Unit on Area Based Development (PMUA) and the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO) under the platform  “research and innovation to promote spatial development and reduce inequality” and program  “innovation for the foundational economy and innovation for the community and university”.

The key objectives are for area development, for enhancing the competency of local communities, and for the local people to develop self-reliance and self-management based on the sufficiency economy philosophy.

Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, and surrounding areas within a 10 km radius will be developed as a prototype of “Thailand’s Smart City” with the development of seven aspects of innovation which are smart environment, smart energy, smart mobility, smart economy, smart governance, smart living, and smart citizens.

The problem of land development often brought by the rapid changes and expansion of the university and real estate area in the surrounding land. Therefore, the university area is seen as the first area that needs to be evolved by integrating knowledge and solutions from various expertise.

Historically, 90% of successful smart city development came from using the university as a testing ground for innovation. The aim, then, is to create coherence of the work among the community and the university and collectively drive the project through to the end.

The Center of Excellence in Urban Mobility Research and Innovation, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University, is therefore used as a control site for the project. The project is well supported by the government sectors such as Pathumthani city hall, Tha Khlong Municipality, Sam Khok Municipality, Khlong Luang Municipality, Rangsit Municipality, and private sectors such as the Federation of Thai SME, Pathumthani, Navanakorn, Talaad Thai, and Thammasat University.

There are eleven sub-projects , including the development of Thammasat Smart Bus in the Rangsit Campus; the development of large-scale travel data storage, analysis and display systems for the provision of smart transportation services in small urban areas;  the justice in smart city and digital community development to stimulate justice in the society; the creation of an urban analysis platform for the smart planning of land usage;  the innovative beds for elderly people and a sustainable caring ecosystem for the elderly; the development of a database and monitoring system for urban trees to support agricultural information management of the smart green city;  the creation of a database of elderly and buildings that can accommodate old people in Rangsit, Thanyaburi, Pathumthani Province and Tha Khlong, Khlong Luang, Pathumthani Province;  smart people for smart cities;  smart waste management;  the development of gas sensors to measure air quality in smart cities; and a smart exchange mechanism for sustainable development of economic transactions.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Pawinee Iamtrakul, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University, is the head of the main project and subprojects on Thammasat smart bus in Thammasat University community (Rangsit Campus).

The goal of this research is set to create comprehensive learning and an exchange process of urban development which consists of six platforms. These are Smart Mobility for seamless, efficient and flexible travel across various modes in the community;  Smart Living for developing the urban environment and livelihood in terms of safety, health, and food; Smart Infrastructure allows complete and quality IOT telecommunication systems; Smart Energy Management for developing innovation for energy and environment management; Smart Economic is to encourage the digital economy to improve quality of production as well as community economy; and Smart Governance & People is to enhance quality and efficiency of citizen service and develop into the skills of people in the 21st century.

All integrated plans in these six platforms will improve and focus on people as a centre of development which will depend on the linkage of data in each platform within the major economic areas. The development of a prototype of a smart city will greatly improve the quality of life, education, public service and environment in Pathumthani Province and more.