Healthy Ageing in Smart Villages? Observations from the Field

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Abstract

In the context of demographically ageing communities across rural Europe Smart Villages have considerable potential to promote ageing healthy. Whilst in principle supporting healthy ageing in the context of the Smart Village might appear a relatively straightforward endeavour, in operational terms, successful development of smart, 21st century villages relies upon, and sometimes assumes, an appropriate interplay of socio-technological factors. Articulated through a lens provided by the digital ecosystem model advocated by the European Network for Rural Development (2018), this paper offers some observations from the field. We acknowledge the challenges faced by remote rural places in their journey to become ‘smart places’ and identify formal and informal interventions that could better position rural communities to become part of a wider, smart society.

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