Topic: Active ageing in smart villages? Notes of caution from the field
Keywords: Smart villages; Active ageing; Remote rural
Smart villages have considerable potential to promote active ageing and sustain independent living in later life. In demographically ageing communities, which includes many remote rural areas across Europe, eHealth technologies, smart homes and digital applications to facilitate social interaction, have much scope to support individual and community wellbeing. Successful development of smart, 21st century remote rural villages relies upon, and sometimes assumes, an appropriate interplay of socio-technological factors including digital infrastructure, ICT literacy and the ownership and appropriate use of digital devices. Whilst in principle, the development of digitally assisted wellbeing in the context of the smart village might appear a relatively straightforward endeavour, in operational terms there are numerous and tangled issues to address. This paper offers some cautionary observations from the fieldthat acknowledge the challenges faced by remote rural places in their journey to become ‘smart places’ and identifies formal and informal interventions that could better position communities to become part of a wider, smart society.