Smart Villages support in Belgium – Flanders

How is the concept of Smart Villages defined?

No formal definition of Smart Villages in Flanders has been identified.

Is digital a key feature of Smart Villages?

No specific information available on this aspect.

Is social innovation a key feature of Smart Villages?

No specific information available on this aspect.

How is the CAP supporting Smart Villages?

VLM (Vlaamse Landmaatschappij) – Flemish Land Agency


Flemish Department of Agriculture and Fisheries


Vercammen Goele, Policy Officer


CAP 2014-2022

Only indirectly, no dedicated interventions identified on Smart Villages


12 LEADER Local Action Groups in Flanders decided to focus on the theme of resilient villages. The largest part of the budget goes to investment projects aimed at improving the social cohesion of inhabitants.

CAP 2023-2027

Indirectly, no dedicated interventions identified on Smart Villages


‘Platteland Plus’: Beneficiaries are municipal authorities, non-profit associations, inter-municipal cooperatives, foundations, public legal entities. (Smart Villages focus is to be confirmed)

Vlaams Ruraal Netwerk


Ariane Van den Steen, Coordinator


CAP Network support

Nο network activities on Smart Villages.

Information provision & communication

The Network Support Unit is sharing information on Smart Villages.

How are other policies supporting Smart Villages?

Various initatives support the Smart Villages concept.

Buurten op den Buiten (‘External Neighbourhoods’): Through the annual call the King Baudouin Foundation and the Flemish Land Agency supports residents who want to realise a concrete project for their neighbourhood or village with a rural character.

Klimaatprojecten(Climate Projects): Each province in Flanders, in partnership with the Bond Beter Leefmilieu (Union Better Environment), publishes an annual call for climate projects targeted at municipalities.

Projectoproep Lokale Klimaatacties (Call for Local Climate Actions): The purpose of this call is to detect, select and scale up projects through financial support. Supported projects are expected to have a demonstrable contribution to CO2 reduction and/or offer solutions for a changing climate (climate adaptation). These projects can be extended to surrounding municipalities (‘scalable’).

Proeftuin Ontharding (Experimental Garden Softening): ‘Proeftuin ontharding’ is an initiative of the Flemish Environment Department focused on local authorities, associations, organisations, companies and schools; with the aim to increase the quality of the living environment (for example green village centres).

Prijs voor Dorpskracht (Village Power Prize): In 2018, the Flemish Land Agency organised the ‘Dorpskracht’ competition, targeted at associations, local governments or residents’ groups who started a successful project to improve the living environment and conditions of their village over the past five years.

Dorpsateliers (Village Workshops): The socio-cultural association ‘Landelijke Gilden’ (Rural Guilds) offered local resident groups from all over Flanders the opportunity to organise village workshops.

Goe Bezig Prijs (Well Done Prize): The ‘GoeBezig’ (Well Done) prize is an initiative of the organisation ‘Dorpsbelangen’ (village interests), financially supported by the Flemish Land Society. It rewards resident groups as well as municipalities that have an exemplary method concerning participatory processes in villages.

Smart Village Lab initiative: Incorporated into the Green Energy Park project in the Zellik Research Park near the Brussels Ring, Smart Village Lab – that started November 2021 – is a living university lab to jointly test the energy use of the future with the industry. It is led by VUB (together with other collaborates) and among others receives ERDF and Interreg support.


Please find further information about Smart Villages support in Flanders on the Smart Rural 21 project’s Flanders country page.

Smart Rural 27 – Smart Villages Taskforce

No taskforce is set up yet

Smart Villages in Belgium – Flanders

Want to get involved or know more on what Smart Rural 27 is doing in Belgium – Flanders? Contact us!

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Last update: December 20, 2021