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Smart village may be a new, and for that matter a rather fancy, concept, yet the thrust of problems and challenges that it speaks to is by no means trivial or new. Hence…
Smart village may be a new, and for that matter a rather fancy, concept, yet the thrust of problems and challenges that it speaks to is by no means trivial or new. Hence the imperative inherent in the smart village concept and debate is to diagnose the status quo, propose viable ways of addressing problems and challenges, build consensus about the need to take action, and to actually follow the suit at micro-, mezzo-, and macro-levels. The concept of smart village made its inroad into the policymaking and academic debates nearly simultaneously, thus suggesting that a window of opportunity exists to undertake concerted action in view of revitalizing rural areas, and so villages, across the European Union. This chapter offers an insight into the conceptual and empirical caveats and opportunities the concept and, indeed, approach termed ‘smart villages’ brings about. To this end, the genealogy and the relevance of the concept and the approach are discussed. Against this background, the content of the entire volume is elaborated. A few final remarks follow.
Smart villages are a currently discussed approach to rural development promoted by the European Union. This approach factors in the diversity of rural areas and the…
Smart villages are a currently discussed approach to rural development promoted by the European Union. This approach factors in the diversity of rural areas and the different nature of challenges faced by each area. The central role is assigned to local communities – formation of appropriate characteristics and attitudes that enable the creation of optimal conditions for development. This is also the result of the evolution of a Rural Development Policy, which is driven by the dynamics and direction of change of rural areas and changes in societal perception of change events in rural areas.
The implementation of this development approach at the local level requires a transformation of the current school of thinking on development and the utilization of available resources. The key role in this process is played by local governments, which are part of the local community and also represent its interests.
The chapter combines theoretical and practical issues, and represents a geographic perspective. Its first aim is to answer the question: How can local governments create the right conditions for smart development at the local level? The second aim is to discuss the smart village approach in the context of selected development concepts. This leads to a number of specific recommendations for policymakers. It also helps them to understand the approach, which is vital in the implementation of the aforesaid recommendations.
The chapter will explore the growth and opportunities of small-scale local power generation and the implications for internet access for rural communities. Solar power has…
The chapter will explore the growth and opportunities of small-scale local power generation and the implications for internet access for rural communities. Solar power has grown exponentially in the last decade across the world and has provided opportunities for the development of local energy communities and on microgrids across the world and in Europe.
The huge cost reductions experienced in solar and its relative mobile and flexible nature have made it a technology perfect for rural areas to develop their own sustainable source of electricity supply. The increasing rise of digital tools has coupled nicely with the advent of mass use of solar in rural areas and thus the connection between smart solar and smart villages has become increasingly a norm.
Rural communities in Europe have embraced solar technology, with many farmers using solar as a means to reduce their electricity costs and also generate new streams of income to improve their overall livelihoods. Some case studies from India, Germany, and Africa will be examined. Other experiences will also be considered, especially where double land use between solar technology and livestock has empowered rural communities.
Outside of Europe, Africa and Asia have also seen solar as a means to electrify remote rural villages. This has lead to the development of microgrids and new technologies that are less deployed in Europe, which are being rolled out for rural communities in the rest of the world. This has been particularly successful in creating smart rural communities as often digital communications have already reached these communities and thus power and telecoms are combining to provide clean and controlled power for millions in Africa. This chapter will also assess the growth of smart energy communities in non-traditional energy markets and determine what lessons we can learn from their experiences.
This chapter will examine other sources of renewable energy and the role that biogas, biomass, and others are playing in the creation of smart villages in Europe and beyond. Biomass has been the traditional tool for many rural communities to generate power and heat and thus an examination of how it now plays a role in smart villages is vital to understanding the energy transition we are experiencing in rural communities.
The concept of smart village emerged in the European Union (EU) level policy debates on rural development in 2016, following the stakeholder-driven Cork 2.0 Declaration…
The concept of smart village emerged in the European Union (EU) level policy debates on rural development in 2016, following the stakeholder-driven Cork 2.0 Declaration. It was developed through a pilot project initiative on ‘Smart, Eco, Social Villages’ and spelled out in the ‘EU Action for Smart Villages’ initiative.
While the concept of smart villages remains unclear for many, substantial work has been carried out to develop the concept and to prepare the underlying supporting instruments at the EU level over the last three years.
The aim of this chapter is to give an overview of how the concept of smart villages has evolved at the EU level and to draw some recommendations for future policy work. The chapter reveals difficulties in the utilization efficiency of the EU funds in rural areas and shows a patched landscape of fragmented policy instruments. The key arguments are that while the mixture of these tools is important, the glue that binds them together is still missing, and that the general utilization efficiency is not sufficient. The authors offer a set of five recommendations for the short to medium term, which is needed for the successful implementation of the smart approach: integration, simplification, communication, innovation, and ‘rural proofing.’
Rural society is increasingly open to a globalized world, and migration from rural areas to cities is becoming increasingly important. Many rural areas face depopulation…
Rural society is increasingly open to a globalized world, and migration from rural areas to cities is becoming increasingly important. Many rural areas face depopulation, an aging population, and limited access to a range of services. To address this challenge, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) involved in the concept of smart villages have much to offer. In order to streamline the debate, this chapter proposes a methodology based on resilience. Resilience is defined as the ability of a habitat or system to recover to its initial state when the disturbance to which it has been subjected has ceased. In this regard, a retrospective of rural areas is proposed based on the experience of the garden city model, for which the advantages of rural areas were evident over those of urban areas. The objective is to reconsider the intrinsic qualities of rural areas in order to recover and enhance them with the added value of the European Union (EU) Smart Villages approach. These facets will be the driving forces behind sustainable development. In conclusion, a number of recommendations are presented, including the development of a catalog, structured by regions and territories, of rural areas and their different potentials and opportunities, for the development of smart villages projects.
Smart village is a new concept and it may be the key to the European rural future. To create an operative smart system for smart villages, it needs the participation of…
Smart village is a new concept and it may be the key to the European rural future. To create an operative smart system for smart villages, it needs the participation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In the smart villages concept local needs require real local solutions; a kind of ‘I can do this for you’ philosophy. SMEs, especially microenterprises or, even, self-employed individuals, have the potential and the capacity to develop local solutions to local problems and have the flexibility to think on a very microlevel. New ideas are needed for the smart villages, new solutions, and new perspectives. The potential of success is in the SMEs, indeed. Because it is not enough to create a system, it must be operated too. Small businesses can ensure the effective functioning of smart villages.
The idea of smart villages is about people. It is intended that the rural population should be able to use all modern technological tools and get closer to the services common in an urban environment. The question is how to make rural life attractive, especially for the young generations. To this end we need smooth connections by broadband Internet and enhanced potential for mobility. It is also a social and ecological project that is driven by public efforts assisted by larger budgetary means or in the case of the EU by a good coordination of the various development funds with broader rural development goals. However, we should not believe that SMEs operating in small settlements are to become more competitive than those in big business hubs. It is needed to acknowledge that matching urban/rural balances is a matter of financial solidarity; thus, we can keep our landscapes soundly populated and protected.
Over recent decades, rural areas have been facing significant challenges that exacerbate the existing discontent in their communities. These challenges are mostly…
Over recent decades, rural areas have been facing significant challenges that exacerbate the existing discontent in their communities. These challenges are mostly reflected in depopulation trends, increased vulnerability to external shocks, and reduced quality of basic services. Local Action Groups (LAGs) all over Europe have been working on these challenges since the early 1990s. More recently, the smart villages concept is starting to generate enthusiasm among rural development stakeholders to try to revert these trends by supporting communities to move toward a more sustainable future while taking advantage of new emerging opportunities. This chapter demonstrates that the LEADER approach and its principles are also part of the smart villages concept. However, practical differences between the two emerge as a result of limitations imposed by restrictive LEADER regulatory frameworks in many member states. Our main argument is that LEADER has what is needed to be the main tool for driving smart villages in Europe as long as there is a policy framework in place that enables LEADER to exploit its full potential. This conclusion is grounded on the analysis of the role that LEADER played in a number of smart village initiatives across the EU.
The majority of the population in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) lives in urban areas. In the year 2030, the percentage of the rural population is expected to be 14…
The majority of the population in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) lives in urban areas. In the year 2030, the percentage of the rural population is expected to be 14% in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 11% in the United Arab Emirates, 10% in Oman, 9% in Bahrain, 1% in Qatar, and will remain 0% in Kuwait. Like many other countries, however, GCC countries continue to invest efforts and resources toward their national agendas aimed at sustainable development. In this context, smart villages are of special interest as, increasingly, they serve as the crossroads between urban living and rural life embracing history, culture, tradition, spiritual values, and human capital. The objective of this chapter is to explore actions taken toward the development of smart villages in the GCC countries, with a comparative overview on pertaining approaches and strategies; challenges related to the implementation of these actions are identified. It is demonstrated that despite GCCs’ tremendous efforts toward developing infrastructure in urban centers, more infrastructure investment is needed with regard to key issues related to developing remote areas – including their smart networks, digital facilities, and e-governance. It is also highlighted that more research is needed, especially on issues related to the transformation of villages into smart villages, including the need for holistic approaches, policies, and strategies toward smart villages.
This chapter aims to contextualize smart rural development in Slovenia. It does so by presenting the current state of the art, addressing new interdisciplinary approaches…
This chapter aims to contextualize smart rural development in Slovenia. It does so by presenting the current state of the art, addressing new interdisciplinary approaches in understanding the problems of rural areas, applying new approaches to smart rural development, and introducing a new concept.
We start our chapter by addressing the main problems of Slovenian rural areas and their inhabitants. We have made a review of initiatives and practices elsewhere and therefore here they are only summarized briefly to emphasize the most important achievements/improvements. Further, the chapter describes the state of the art in Slovenia in connection with smart and sustainable rural development, and analyzes the results contextually. It looks at the solutions and practices that local communities found to answer the existing challenges. Three promising examples are presented, related to different sectors: tourism, mobility, and innovation. The last part of the chapter contextualizes our findings and further explains our approach to smart rural development. Finally, the chapter introduces a new concept – that is, Smart Fab Village. The concept of Fab Village is built upon the concept designed for urban areas and then carefully adapted to the needs and specific requirements of rural areas.
To study the impact, awareness and preparedness of COVID-19, a “pandemic” that has aroused the attention of the entire world because of rapid infection rates; among the…
To study the impact, awareness and preparedness of COVID-19, a “pandemic” that has aroused the attention of the entire world because of rapid infection rates; among the targeted rural communities as basis to analyze their self-sustainability level.
A mixed methodology/approach combining critical literature review and questionnaire-based survey has been followed in two villages, covering a sample of 150 households located in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The parameters were selected to check awareness/preparedness regarding basic guidelines, immunity, requirements of essential facilities to deal with COVID-19 patients, the effect of lockdown on social and financial status, difficulties in education.
The villages have the potential to transform into Smart Villages or Smart Communities with the adaption of self-sustainable processes. The self-reliance on agriculture and traditional lifestyle in targeted rural areas make them relatively safer as compared to the urban areas. The community's overall awareness about COVID-19 and its preparedness was found satisfactory, with some variations that require more innovative strategies with academic interventions.
Although the scope of the study was limited to two remote villages of Himachal Pradesh (India), the results could be generalized for in-depth understanding about other villages in the state to convert them into smart villages.
It summarizes a systemic perspective based on selected parameters on how COVID-19 lockdown has affected different aspects of life in rural communities. Further, collaborative efforts and adoption of self-sustainability model can lead to the remarkable transformation of villages into smart villages.