Six key services to turn Phuket into a model smart city
Boosting development with a Smart City Framework
Phuket is among the first wave of smart cities in Thailand. Not least due to the huge influx of tourists, Phuket has many unaddressed problems that could be tackled by using smart city technologies. Together with Asian technology giant Huawei, we have outlined an implementation framework to help cities revamp their services with the assistance of intelligent technologies. In the case of Phuket, we identified six smart city services that have strong potential to address pain points and enhance the competitiveness of Phuket in the short run.
In a substantive step towards the fourth industrial revolution, Thailand policymakers have launched an economic model that will help to transform Thailand into a high-income nation underpinned by technology and innovation. Labelled as "Thailand 4.0" movement, the national agenda relies on industry 4.0 solutions to holistically address modern fundamental issues such as (i) economic prosperity, (ii) social well-being, (iii) human capital development, and (iv) environmental protection.
As Thailand's second largest tourist destination, the city of Phuket was selected as a model for smart city development within Thailand. Approximately USD 13 million in government funding had been commissioned to develop Phuket smart city, with a vision towards higher quality of life for the locals and a thriving tourism sector to drive its economy. By leveraging smart city technologies, Phuket is expected to see a 4.5% boost in local economy over the next 5 years.
Similar to Thailand's capital city Bangkok, Phuket is categorized as a legacy city with decades-old physical and institutional structures, some of which have been pushed to the limits by sharp population growth and rapid urbanization. Phuket is one of the fastest growing Thailand cities in terms of urbanization and visitor growth. In November 2018 alone, the number of tourists in Phuket reached over 1 million, collectively generating over THB 40 billion in a single month. The number of visitors and migrants in Phuket far outgrew the number of locals, forcing the government to rethink its solutions to urban city problems such as waste, electricity demand, and road congestion.
Key services to address Phuket's growing pains
Adoption of smart city technologies becomes a critical piece in the city's bid to efficiently manage resources and generate high return of value. Using a systematic scoring matrix, combined with expert insights and multiple stakeholder interviews, the report we co-wrote with Huawei has shortlisted six smart city verticals that are seen as key priorities for the city of Phuket. The six key services to implement include Smart Public Transport, Smart Traffic Light, Smart Electric Metering, Smart Waste Management, Smart Tourism, and Integrated CCTV solutions.
The six shortlisted smart city services are expected to address the city's growing pains and enhance the competitiveness of Phuket's local economy. Additionally, three key service enabler groups have been identified to support service operations and ensure scalability beyond Phuket. The six service verticals complement the three service enablers for the successful development of Phuket Smart City.
The central framework and recommendations described were developed through a detailed benchmarking exercise of globally leading city services. The viewpoints and insights shared in this report will be relevant for cities of all types in this rapidly changing world. Any city that shares Phuket's ambition in becoming frontrunners of smart technology deployment will be able to relate with and find transferable lessons from this joint study.