Thammasat, Harvard to create Thai smart city
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Thammasat, Harvard to create Thai smart city

Thammasat University has teamed up with Harvard University and three Thai private partners in a project to develop a model smart city just north of Bangkok in Pathum Thani.

The Thai university yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Navanakorn Plc, RATCH Group Plc and ALT Telecom Plc for a joint study on turning Thammasat's Rangsit campus, the Navanakorn Industrial Zone and surrounding areas into the "Thammasat-Navanakorn Smart City".

A prototype of the smart city is expected to be up and running by the middle of this year.

Thammasat also signed a letter of intent with Harvard's Graduate School of Design to create a so-called "Option Studio" for international graduate students studying architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning. The programme will be part of the smart city development.

"We intend to make a real smart city happen, and for it to become a model for the country's development of smart cities," said Assoc Prof Gasinee Witoonchart, the rector of Thammasat.

The university will seek support from the government, which she said would be crucial to the success of the project.

Nipit Arunvongse Na Ayudhya, CEO of Navanakorn Plc, said Navanakorn, RATCH Group and ALT Telecom would supply knowledge and 2.26 million baht in funding for the study phase of the project.

"As an architect with a dream to see a real smart city evolve, I can say no other location is as suitable for the development of a smart city than this one," he said.

The location has communities, education institutions, innovation organisations, and a major manufacturing sector in addition to having the potential to house a new research and development centre, he added.

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