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(Re)thinking smart in rural contexts: A multi‐country study

Jesús J. Cambra‐Fierro and Lourdes Pérez

Growth and Change, 2022, vol. 53, issue 2, 868-889

Abstract: Interest in the concept of smart cities and the process of smartization has increased in recent years, as reflected in the number of studies published in academic journals. Research has offered multiple perspectives to understand the risks and challenges posed by the growing population in urban areas, highlighting plans and actions that need to be undertaken. In contrast to smart cities, smartization in rural areas has received only scarce attention, despite the beneficial effect that the transformation of rural areas could have for society. Smart villages face different issues such as depopulation and the need to attract young people if they are to survive. Consequently, we need to rethink the impact of technology and the overall idea of becoming “smart” in this context. Therefore, this paper aims to define “smart” in the context of rural areas. In terms of methodology, the research takes the Smart Rural 21 project as case study. The results consider related aspects of sustainability, governance, the role of technology and the need to use a strategic approach that ensures quality of life in rural areas.

Date: 2022
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