We can report that the Khon Kaen smart city project is progressing well and on target with large sections of the overhead rail link complete.
As we reported previously the excellent progress is largely down to a group of Khon Kaen citizens taking the initiative themselves. The band of entrepreneurs from 20 Khon Kaen-based companies and leading organisations include the owners of property development projects, car dealerships and hotels, university lecturers, former local politicians and factory managers.
The group from Khon Kaen’s strong private sector are notably led by third-generation Chinese entrepreneurs aged 40-50, who have been friends since childhood.
The project includes a 23km Light Rail North- South Line for greater links with initial investment coming very much from the private sector.
Khon Kaen often has busy traffic in the city centre but ring roads and forward planning with ideas such as the rail link look set to ensure it’s development is well managed. As Khon Kaen grows it will mitigate the congestion problems that plague other Asian cities.
The growth of Khon Kaen city is evident from the huge condo developments and large shopping mall complexes. These measures taken now should ensure the city centre continues to be a pleasant place to live.
Of course a Tuk Tuk ban would help any city in SE Asian in my honest opinion. Some of the older vehicles in the area could also be removed with some sort of ‘scrappage’ scheme popular in europe. Admittedly this maybe a while off yet.
Another reason for optimism and part of the remit of the Smart City project is the investment in the digital economy in the area. The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (North Eastern) has a large office by the lake and is working with local universities to promote start ups in the area.
We hope to bring you more information on the DEPA project soon.