Thammasat and Harvard’s Design School to re-think about Lower Choa Phraya Delta and Smart City

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Thammasat University signed a memorandum of understanding with Nava Nakorn Plc., RATCH Group Plc. and ALT Telecom Plc. on 8 January, 2020 for a joint study on transforming Thammasat’s Rangsit campus, the Nava Nakorn Industrial Zone and surrounding areas together into the Thammasat-Nava Nakorn Smart City. The study is expected to be completed by mid-2020.

In the ceremony, the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University, referred to as Thammasat Design School (TDS), signed a letter of intent with the Harvard University‘s Graduate School of Design (GSD). This collaboration aims to establish a relationship between GSD and TDS through discussions on establishing a project-based studio course. They would focus on challenges of advancing alternative futures for resilient change in the Greater Bangkok area and Pathum Thani, addressing issues including smart development, climate change adaptation and emerging civic public space and infrastructure.

Rector of Thammasat University Assoc. Prof. Gasinee Witoonchart revealed that Thammasat University aimed to be a university for people and sustainability. “In the past, we have collaborated with private sectors and world-class universities to create changes in Thai society. We also integrate the knowledge of social science. Therefore, signing this MOU will conform to the university’s vision.

We intend to build Thailand Smart City. Our plan will be successful only if we have support from the government. Therefore, Thammasat will collaborate with the government and meet the ministries for more discussion in details”, Assoc. Prof. Gasinee said.

Chief Executive Officer of Nava Nakorn Plc. Mr. Nipit Arunvongse Na Ayutthaya stated that Nava Nakorn and Thammasat University were like neighbours living together for a long time. “Thammasat – Nava Nakorn Smart City” project will enhance the collaboration and discussion between Thammasat University and Nava Nakorn in developing the community under the government’s goal of Thailand Smart City. Nava Nakorn and allied companies, including RATCH Group Public Plc. and ALT Telecom Plc. are delighted to support the exchange of information and 2.263 million THB funding for the studies and academic activities.

“As an architect, this is my dream. I think there is no place more perfect than this area. We have community, university, innovation center which we can build a research and development center. Therefore, we will use all technologies and potential that we got to build and develop smart city for our country”, Mr. Nipit said.

Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University Asst. Prof. Asan Suwanrit stated that following the Smart City Concept under the framework of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), five design studios from architecture, landscape architecture, planning, urban design and development and design, business and technology management programmes at TDS will focus on evolving design proposals concerning the environment, economy, energy, governance, living, mobility and people, as well as concerns of climate change and social equity. Visionary approaches can generate resilient and practical public spaces that can affect urban and landscape designers, engineers, business planners and decision-makers in the future.

“The project will be completed in the middle of 2020. We hope that it would create an example of smart city. Not only to support the Government’s policy, but also provide essential perspective of city development in macro scale to general publics”, Asst. Prof. Asan said.