FUTURE IS S.M.A.R.T. - DEVELOPMENT OF A "SMART VILLAGE" PROJECT FRAMEWORK
Management Center Innsbruck (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:This paper aims to find out to what extent it is possible to apply and modify "Smart City" projects in a rural community and, in addition, to critically examine whether it is fundamentally sensible to adapt "Smart" concept approaches in a village. In addition, the problem of the steadily growing migration from rural communities and what can be done about it will be addressed. Since the scientific community has mainly focused on developing and conceptualizing "Smart City" initiatives, the "Smart Village" sector is partly ignored. In the beginning, the authors present the basic definitions of a "Smart City" and a "Smart Village" and possible interrelationships. Since "smart" communities are closely related to information and communication technology and the Internet of Things, these two areas are also discussed in this paper. Experts agree that there are significant connections between the two areas of "Smart City" and "Smart Village". For this purpose, selected and specific "Smart City" projects worldwide are collected and discussed in the form of a focus group discussion in March 2021 supported by a student group in our Scientific Basics course. This was the first time that we used a real-world scientific project within this course to engage the students more than thinking only about theoretical models.
Since it is relevant how life in a rural community can be improved in general, the authors also conducted an idea workshop to generate conceptual approaches to what extent this is possible. The evaluation of the results shows that most of the presented "Smart Village” projects could be implemented in a rural community too - either wholly or up to a certain extend. In addition, however, concerns arose on the issue of necessity, as the introduction of such "smart" initiatives could jeopardize the essential cohesion and social aspect. However, the results of this paper serve as a fundament for further research approaches to adapt a usable and actionable "Smart Village" in the central European area.
Keywords: Smart City, Smart Village, Rural Communities.