Today’s global trends have brought new challenges to all communities, regardless of the size, geographical location, or position within the settlement hierarchy. This is especially true for rural cities and small settlements at the level of local society and economy, and the level of individuals. In both the international and domestic literature, research on “smartness” has so far focused on big cities. Smartness was primarily tied to size, minimum population, urban functions, and the existence of a massive “hard,” i.e., physical infrastructure. The main goal of “getting smart” was accordingly focused on efficiency and technology.


Examining the policy connections, we can state that although the topic appeared in the policy of the European Union only in 2016 within the framework of the EU Action for Smart Villages, the thematic work of the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) has long included complex development priorities. and technological elements.


Several European countries have been running smart village and smart region programs for 10-15 years (in the Italian region between Milan and Turin, Morandi, Rolando, Di Vita 2016, or in Germany the Fraunhofer Digitale Dörfer program). It should be noted that most research and demonstration projects on smart villages and regions are located in India (e.g. India Smart Villages) and Africa (e.g. E4SV Smart Villages, IEEE Smart Village program). In the Central and Eastern European region, relatively little attention has been paid to the issue so far, which is why we are addressing this issue.


A Smart Communities 2.0 - How to be smart in the countryside? (Smart Communities 2.0 - SKHU/1902/4.1/027) aims to answer the “How to” question now, based on the experience of the previous project, to provide products and services and applicable good practices to disadvantaged municipalities that: they help them become ‘smart’ by providing some kind of guidance for development. As an experienced and locally embedded NGO, the project consortium leader will act as a bridge to local communities, and the consortium member higher education institutions will provide knowledge and development capacities on both sides of the border.


In the framework of the Smart Communities - Virtual Education and Research and Development and Innovation Network in the Slovakian - Hungarian border region (Smart Communities 1.0 - SKHU/1601/4.1/210) project, we sought to answer the question of whether cities are really privileged. the "cleverness"? According to our approach, it is also possible for small rural settlements to become smart settlements, in which case developments should be based on “soft”, endogenous development factors and the development of smart communities should be supported instead of (and in addition to) smart infrastructures and technological systems. The project consortium consisted of higher education institutions, academic research institutes, grammar schools and NGOs. The project was led by the Salgótarján-based ITA (Interindustria Knowledge Center Foundation). The pre-project proved that “smartness” is not just a privilege of cities and that it is indeed possible to become “smarter” in small rural settlements based on local endowments and actors, local actors were very pleased to receive the activities and actively participated in them in large numbers.


SMART COMMUNITIES 2.0 - 3. Newsletter

Project products and services for motivated villages

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April 2024

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