Masterplan creates a digital future for Thailand / by Broadway Malyan

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Proposals for a new 100-hectare digital park have been launched, heralding a major step forward in Thailand’s digital aspirations.

Digital Park Thailand, located in the Sri Racha district of the Chonburi Province, was unveiled at The Digital Thailand Big Bang Conference 2017. The site will be aimed predominately at digital and technology industries and it is anticipated that over 58,000 people will live and work there.

The new district will be developed over the next 10 to 15 years and is within the EEC SEZ, a special economic zone. As well as promoting digital industries, there will be a range of science and education facilities, and the creation of a new residential community.

It will also support and complement existing industries and people in the area, including existing schools, universities, and sectors including automotive and agriculture.  

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The Thung Suk La Road runs alongside the site and the proposals also suggest a direct connection of the proposed high speed rail link and new station at Sri Racha, providing further connectivity that will significantly boost the success of the development.         

The masterplan has been designed by an international consortium including Broadway Malyan, Savills and the TEAM Group, and will see the creation of various specialist clusters focused around a central park and retail and lifestyle hub. This will include a hotel and MICE facilities to support the business community within the Digital Park.

Modelled on a campus style approach, the aspiration is to create a complete digital ecosystem with clusters focused on Digital Media and Immersive Content; Applied Digital, IOT and ICT; Medical, Healthcare and Wellness; Data Centres; Robotics; Automotive and Aviation; and a specialist Digital University.

The plan will be structured around a ‘digital boulevard’ and green connector linking the different clusters and a sizeable living zone will offer a range of quality housing designed within a lush, landscape setting, in close proximity to community facilities. It will be pedestrian and cyclist friendly and have access to a public transport network of local buses connecting to a wider transit system including the High Speed Rail and major airports.

Ed Baker, director at Broadway Malyan, said: “While the project has been benchmarked against international best practice for planning technology parks and workplaces, we are aiming to create an urban campus which is truly unique to Thailand.

“The design includes lots of greenery and community spaces, to provide an attractive environment for people and an interesting juxtaposition with the various technology and science based activities that will take place here. A connected network of shared, open spaces will promote a culture of collaboration across the campus and become a setting for events.

 “The master plan will deliver both a smart and sustainable campus. In keeping with the digital theme, we will be looking to incorporate a number of smart features within the plan including operating systems to help efficiently manage the campus, technologies to improve transport connectivity and platforms to create a connected business community.

“Our aspiration is that as part of a ‘living lab’ approach many of the technologies tested within the park will be developed by the companies that reside there, including established larger businesses and innovative start-ups.”

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John Timms, Regional Director Development Management, at Savills said: “The timing of the Digital Park presents a huge opportunity for the nation to catch the wave of growth stimulated by the global tech boom, especially the Internet of Everything (“IOE”) and Big Data.

“For this project to be a success, it is essential we meet the ambitions of Thailand 4.0, leverage the enhanced regulations and incentives of the Eastern Economic Corridor’s (“EEC”), and mesh with the national and regional upgrading of IT infrastructure.

“These challenges, whilst bringing new layers of complexity to the development model, nonetheless offer an exciting opportunity to create a vibrant world-class environment for end-users, entrepreneurs, corporate occupiers, investors and partners across the region and country.”

The first phases will focus on the construction of a data centre cluster as well as the IOT Institute building. The Institute will include a mix of uses, such as research, teaching and conferencing and offices. The institute will seek to attract a number of anchor tenants, representing the key cluster industries within the Digital Park.

The development supports the Thailand 4.0 initiative and Thailand’s Digital Government Plan 2017-2021. Launched in March 2017, the plan details the government’s aims to develop digital capabilities in a range of sectors including agriculture, tourism, education, health, investment, disaster prevention, and public administration, in order to drive economic and social progress.