This case study explores a holistic approach to the digitisation of rural services, implemented by the the Fraunhofer Institute in several pilot villages in Germany. The creation of a common digital platform has enabled the development of new solutions for the supply of local goods, communication, mobility and e-government through shared services and common rules.
This issue of the EU Rural Review showcases rural communities across Europe taking the initiative to find practical solutions to challenges they face and seize new opportunities.
It explores how digital and social innovation can be used in new, creative ways to improve basic services in rural areas. It further looks at national and regional approaches to creating an enabling environment, as well as how the Rural Development Programmes can catalyse rural service innovation.
The content of this edition has been informed by the broader ENRD thematic work on ‘Smart Villages’.
This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure profiles twelve participatory social and digital initiatives that are enhancing rural services in six key areas: multi-service hubs; health, education; mobility; energy; and digitisation of the village itself.
The examples showcase how rural communities can sometimes respond to the challenges they face faster than policy, using innovative funding solutions such as private sector investment and crowdfunding.
The Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) can provide complementary support to local communities at each stage of the transformation process of a rural area into a ‘smart village’: from the initial idea to successful scale-up.