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UK Partner with Thailand to Create Smarter Cities

The UK sets out plans for a partnership with Thailand on smart cities and launches ‘Smart City Handbook’.


UK Partner with Thailand to Create Smarter Cities

Oct 20, British Embassy Bangkok: In 2019, London was declared the leading city in the world in IESE’s comparative Cities in Motion Index. This came after London set out a roadmap to become the smartest city in the world in 2018


The UK views working with Thailand, as with Southeast Asia more broadly, on smart cities as part of its ongoing commitment to creating stronger relationships in the region.



Bangkok 16 October 2020: Today, at Smart City Week 2020 in Bangkok, the UK and the Thai Ministry of Digital Economy and Society jointly launched the ‘Smart City Handbook’. The Handbook is part of plans for broader cooperation between the UK and Thai Governments on smart cities. It outlines the smart cities ‘landscape’ across Thailand as well as providing examples of interesting UK smart city projects and expertise.


The Smart City Handbook is just one part of a series of activities announced by the UK to support Thai / UK joint work on Smart Cities. Other activities the UK plans include:

  • Ongoing projects under the UK’s Global Future Cities Programme with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to create an improved flood management system for Lad Phrao; to plan a Data Centre to support the collection and use of data for decision-making in Bangkok; and to create a development masterplan for the Khlong Bang Luang region and Bang Wa BTS Station.

  • The UK hosted smart city workshops in Chiang Mai, Chonburi and Khon Kaen

  • Thailand is also chosen as the focal market under the UK’s Tech Export Academy for the Asia Pacific, which will see 30 British smart city companies undertake a trade mission to Thailand next year.

  • Earlier in June 2020, the UK has launched the Digital Trade Network with Thailand as one the focal market. The three-year pilot programme will enhance the UK’s digital tech capabilities and support digital trade and investment opportunities in Thailand.



The UK believes urbanisation is one of the key challenges of the century. More than 50% of the Thailand population already lives in cities. Worldwide, the figure will be 65% by 2040. Urbanisation intensifies challenges around transportation; pollution; health and wellbeing; and poverty and inequality.


The UK is seeking to create the cities of the future through urban planning and the integration of smart technology with open data and user-centred design. Recent research suggests that almost a third of the UK’s urban areas with populations over 100,000 currently have planned programmes labelled as ‘smart’.



In 2019, London was declared the leading city in the world in IESE’s comparative Cities in Motion Index. This came after London set out a roadmap to become the smartest city in the world in 2018.


The UK views working with Thailand, as with Southeast Asia more broadly, on smart cities as part of its ongoing commitment to creating stronger relationships in the region.


Brian Davidson, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Thailand said:

I hope the launch of the Smart City Handbook and the on ground expertise as part of the Digital Trade Network will provide the foundations for future cooperation, sharing of experience and expertise between the UK and Thailand in areas of smart city. We look forward to hosting the British companies for the Tech Export Academy trade mission next year.


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