What is a Smart village?
A digital community promoting enterprise support and connectivity for rural businesses.
Smart Villages connect people in rural areas, supporting new and existing enterprises and creating a network of digital champions – all working together to build a vibrant, creative and sustainable rural economy in Scotland.
A Smart Village is a super connected community, either based around a settlement, a cluster of settlements or a community of interest.
We stretch the traditional term village, so a Smart Village can range in size from a hamlet to a small town.
Better places to live, do business, work, learn, play and visit.
Smart Villages can be the catalyst to make your village a better place economically, socially but also physically. When more communities take ownership of buildings and places the physical environment can be improved for business and social use. A Smart Village can be the driver for change, or make change easier.
Thriving communities are engaged, empathetic communities. If everybody has a voice - enterprises, schools, individuals, clubs and associations - they feel empowered and more connected to their place. Smart Village portals can help by being a focal point for visitors, businesses and communities through digital notice-boards, events listings, what’s on and local information.
We hope to nurture innovative thinking and activity. We will share examples from the Smart Village community across Scotland and beyond. This could be the use of smart technology, a meeting of a new group of individuals, or a simpler way to share information. Please get in touch if you have a good idea or you want to discuss a particular challenge... We may know a village that has the solution!
Built to last
Smart Villages have a strong sense of identity and are mindful of their histories and unique stories. However, they are also forward looking and are making plans for what lies ahead. Their activity will be sustainable and future-proofed, sensitive to the natural environment and to residents of all ages and generations to come.
Some of our rural communities face serious issues such as de-population and social isolation. While becoming a Smart Village is not a panacea for all social problems, a Smart Village can provide the framework to potentially minimise some of these serious issues.
We accept digital is not everything! People still need to meet up face to face, whether for work, village matters, or socially. However, with the ever-improving connectivity in rural Scotland and the amazing tools provided by improvement in digital technology, we feel we need to make the most of it.
Through our Smart Village Digital Champions - motivated local people who are highly skilled digitally - we hope to support local enterprises, associations and, in turn, individuals to become highly skilled in using this new set of tools.
In each Smart Village the SVS Project Manager and local stakeholders will identify local challenges and seek to develop digital solutions. These could be business driven, such as e-commerce solutions and booking widgets, or for wider community benefit, such as environmental warning and response systems.