Smart Cities in Asia
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Smart Cities in Asia

Governing Development in the Era of Hyper-Connectivity

Edited by Yu-Min Joo and Teck-Boon Tan

At a time when Asia is rapidly growing in global influence, this much-needed and insightful book bridges two major current policy topics in order to offer a unique study of the latest smart city archetypes emerging throughout Asia. Highlighting the smart city aspirations of Asian countries and their role in Asian governments’ new development strategies, this book draws out timely narratives and insights from a uniquely Asian context and policymaking space.
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Chapter 10: The smart city as a complex adaptive system: the ebbs and flows of humans and materials

Ora-orn Poocharoen, Poon Thiengburanathum and Kian Cheng Lee


This chapter explores a city as a complex adaptive system that encompasses a web of actors and subsystems. It describes a smart city with the intention of illustrating the non-linear nature of projects, the unplanned emergence of events and the adaptive nature of actors. The city of Chiang Mai, Thailand, is used as a case study. For two years, the authors have had direct experience with the smart city initiative as consultants and researchers responsible for drafting Chiang Mai’s smart city plans for 2018–2023. The authors argue that a city should be looked at as being made up of a multiplicity of urban systems – i.e., multi-layers, multi-agents, multi-flows, multi-activities and multi-dimensions. These are fabricated into a complex system. This perspective allows us to have a richer insight into the process of a city’s adaptation to the intervention of smart city policies and for policymakers to have a better grasp of designing smart city projects. Throughout the chapter, the authors provide useful frameworks for practitioners to design smart city projects.

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