This briefing provides references to a selection of planning tools to help practitioners, local decision-makers, and community groups to design and develop sustainable rural services. Even though the focus is clearly set on rural services, each tool can equally fit other types of intervention.
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 case study explores the Finnish ‘Smart Countryside’ analysis of the challenges facing the country's rural areas and the opportunities offered by digitisation. It overviews a range of recommendations for improving digital innovations in rural services that have been used to inform both existing and new programmes in Finland.
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’.