The term smart city refers to an urban center using electronic devices in an Internet of things (IoT) to collect and analyze data and use the information to effectively manage its resources and assets (Vito, Berardi, & Dangelico, 2015). Cities act as the centers of the sustainable economy since they are combinations of both human and non-human resources like infrastructure and industries that form key pillars in an economy. However, the rural-urban migration is presenting a major challenge to the cities due to the increased population thus putting pressure on existing social amenities and infrastructure (Gudrun, 2015). The concept of a smart city helps the authorities to efficiently manage the limited resource to improve service delivery.
The classification of a city as smart or otherwise can be based on one or multiple dimensions. These dimensions include a smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment, smart people, smart living, and smart governance (Vito, Berardi, & Dangelico, 2015). The smart economy looks at the competitiveness and technological innovation in the city (Vito, Berardi, & Dangelico, 2015). Besides, it comprises research-driven economic policies focusing on quality education, infrastructure, and other social amenities. The smart mobility component looks at the ease of moving across the city (Vito, Berardi, & Dangelico, 2015). Mobility is one of the primary challenges in most cities due to traffic and human congestion. Smart mobility looks at the existing infrastructure like commuter trains and other mass transit systems that ease translocation within the city.
Additionally, a smart city must have a clean environment with sustainable use of existing resources. The human development index in these cities is high due to the quality education and other supporting infrastructure (Vito, Berardi, & Dangelico, 2015). Moreover, these urban centers are characterized by high life quality due to the efficient management of the resources (Vito, Berardi, & Dangelico, 2015). The residents enjoy access to quality healthcare and clean environment among other benefits. Finally, smart cities have smart governance that focuses on economic empowerment and participation. Participatory leadership helps the authorities to develop policies with the primary purpose of solving people’s challenges.
Bangkok is the largest city in Thailand and has made several strides towards becoming a smart city. Thailand’s leadership has significantly invested in digitizing the city’s economy by focusing on value-based business and innovation (Yamsaengsung & Papasratorn, 2017). Besides, the city has invested heavily in sustainable resource utilization, especially in the energy sector. For example, the city leaders a twenty percent decrease in energy consumption by 2030. The target requires that companies and individuals to device methods minimize energy use in the buildings like designs that allow in maximum natural light. Thailand’s Energy Policy Administration Committee is in charge of developing research-driven policies to reduce energy consumption (Yamsaengsung & Papasratorn, 2017).
Additionally, Bangkok has an elaborate mass public transit system that eases the movement across the city. The city has the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) that operates buses and bus rapid transit (BRT) (Yamsaengsung & Papasratorn, 2017). Moreover, the city has airports and railway system hence the easy movement of people in and out of the city. Also, the city has a sensor grid that controls the integrated systems for efficient management of resources.
Finally, Bangkok city qualifies to be a smart city as it meets nearly all the dimension. It has smart mobility, smart governance, smart economy, smart environment, and smart living. The city is currently investing in various projects aimed at improving the residents’ quality of life and sustainable use of resources like energy.
References
Gudrun, Ø. (2015). Rural-urban migration, inequality, and urban social disorder: Evidence from African and Asian cities. Conflict Management and Peace Science, 33(5), 491-515.
Vito, A., Berardi, U., & Dangelico, R. M. (2015). Smart cities: Definitions, dimensions, performance, and initiatives. Journal of urban technology, 22(1), 3-21.
Yamsaengsung, S., & Papasratorn, B. (2017). Identifying preferred smart city services for a major city in a developing country: the case of Bangkok. International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 23(5-6), 403-418.