Beyond smart cities

Over the past 15 months of COVID induced isolation, I have gained a special appreciation of online webinars for keeping informed and in touch with colleagues in the the telecom sector.

In my view, the International Telecommunications Society (ITS) has provided a series of informative sessions that should be on your calendars.

Coming up next is Beyond Smart Cities, taking place next week, June 9 from 9:00 to 10:00 (Eastern).

Academics, practitioners and policymakers have long debated on the concept and practice of smart cities but only recently have started to investigate how smartisation can be pushed beyond the urban boundaries. New models have been proposed and put in practice to leverage the potential of digital technologies in a rural or suburban context. This webinar aims to shed further light on two of these – smart villages and smart territories – with academic experts and practitioners involved in the design of these initiatives.

Smart villages refer to local communities leveraging digital technologies to co-create innovative services in different domains, from smart mobility to smart tourism. They have multiplied over the past ten years in both developed and developing countries. The concept of smart territory is more recent and has been proposed as an alternative to both smart cities and smart villages to overcome the dichotomy rural/urban and push for the design of holistic smart policies that are not constrained by administrative boundaries.

Both smart villages and smart territories are seen as a driver of economic growth, social cohesion and sustainable development of rural areas, but their development remains geographically limited and many operational aspects have yet to be finalised. This webinar aims to explore the current state of art on smart villages and territories in order to understand how public and private actors in the ICT industry can sustain these initiatives and help to maximise their potential for rural development.

In particular the webinar aims to clarify:

  • how sectorial regulations and other ICT policies can favour the creation of smart villages and territories;
  • how telecom providers and infrastructures can sustain the development of these initiatives; and
  • how the diffusion of smart villages and territories is affected by and can help to fix the rural digital divide.

Registration is free.

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