Smart Villages support in Estonia
The SR21 Country Page
information on Smart Villages in Estonia
How is the concept of Smart Villages defined?
No formal definition of ‘Smart Villages’ in Estonia
Is digital a key feature of Smart Villages?
Digital is not perceived as the main aspect of Smart Villages
Is social innovation a key feature of Smart Villages?
No specific information available on this aspect
How is the CAP supporting Smart Villages?
Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs
Taavi Kurvits, Chief Specialist
Indirectly, no specific Smart Villages intervention
- LEADER/ CLLD is expected to support Smart Village initiatives.
Estonian National Rural Network
Meeri Maastik, Specialist
CAP Network support
Specific networking activities, such as training/workshops, seminars, and dissemination activities are organised on the topic of Smart Villages.
- Organising exchange of practice with other Member States (e.g. Poland, Latvia, Finland).
- Exchange within the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) and the Smart Rural 21 project.
- Collaborating with and supporting the Estonian National Smart Villages programme implemented by Local Action Groups (LAGs).
How are other policies supporting Smart Villages?
No other policies supporting Smart Villages have been identified at this stage.
Please find further information about Smart Villages support in Estonia on the Smart Rural 21 project’s Estonia country page.
Smart Rural 27 – Smart Villages Taskforce
Information will follow soon.
Smart Villages in Estonia
Luunja municipality is located on the northern bank of the Emajõgi River, the municipality extending from the city of Tartu to the Emajõgi Suursoo is very diverse, covering both modern residential areas and areas of untouched nature. The area has a fascinating history and beautiful nature, long-standing farming traditions and a diverse economy. The Emajõgi meandering in the picturesque primeval valley and the Emajõgi Suursoo with its unique biota attract people to discover and enjoy. The grandeur of the manor-era parks and alleys testifies to the dignity of the manors of that time. The only river raft in the Baltics operates in the village of Kavastu.
The inhabitants of Luunja villages are active, youthful and cultural. Villages have enterprising people with a strong sense of community who want to create a better and more innovative living environment. In addition, there are successful and helpful companies.
The greatest values are youthful population, historical sights, diverse nature and many small businesses – unfortunately there is no systematic overview of these and therefore there is a need to create a virtual map of all important information in the village area that can be updated in real time for all residents and tourists, creating completely new opportunities for the entire community. The virtual map / app / database provides an opportunity for the sustainable operation and development of creative entrepreneurs and food producers, and ensures a greater sense of community, which in turn helps to create more cooperation and bring more people to the area. An interactive map and a common strategy would help to connect villages, be a universal service, revitalize entrepreneurship and the availability of tourism and community services in different areas, and create a whole new way of communicating information and interacting with different stakeholders.
The biggest development needs are the availability of information and finding the necessary information, the lack of a business incubator, the lack of shops in the villages, the lack of transport organization, the lack of possibilities for hobbies.Read more
Neeme village is located in the northern part of one of the smallest articulated coastlines of Northern Estonia, the Ihasalu Peninsula. As far back as is known, fishing, to some extent the hunting of seals and agricultural activity have been the main sources of livelihood for the local population. It is a typical fishing village. After Estonia regained independence, the village has grown steadily. Over the years, many young families have moved here, thanks to which life has flourished again. Neeme kindergarten and school are highly valued among parents, community is active. In the village there are high-quality restaurants such as Ruhe Restaurant, Wana Kala Kõrts and Neeme Pood & Café established by locals. The cape has very good access from the sea, because there is a decent small port. The port does not currently offer services to tourists. However, the location is favorable for tourism – the nearest small ports of the Neeme are in Kaberneeme, Koljunuk, but also in Vainul, Rohuneeme, Prangli. The summer recreational sea traffic on small vessels has gained momentum as a trend.Read more
Otepää municipality is located in Valga county in South-Eastern Estonia. It is an area of 520.2 m², which ranks 39th among 79 municipalities in Estonia. It is clearly a center-hinterland type municipality with one larger center – the town of Otepää. Otepää municipality differs from several other county municipalities in that there are 4 sustainable schools in the municipality. Preserving local schools is a very important issue for communities. In the last two years, the number of inhabitants in Otepää municipality has increased precisely due to the positive migration balance. Although the natural increase is still negative due to the age structure of the municipality (high proportion of the elderly), the positive migration balance has compensated for this in the last two years. In the last two years, many young families with children have started living in the municipality, due to which the local government has had to open an additional group in kindergarten. At the same time, the number of inhabitants has increased in villages, while the number of inhabitants of the town of Otepää continues to decrease.
For the villages in the Otepää area, smart village means finding innovative solutions through collective problem solving. In the strategy process, 4 areas of smart approach were mapped: 1) Community collective intelligence – new knowledge, perspectives, ideas; 2) Information technology intelligence – electronic bulletin boards, information picks, electronic application system; 3) On demand services – transport, intelligent logistics for children’s hobbies; 4) Social innovation – intergenerational communication.
The Virtsu borough is situated on Virtsu peninsula on the western coast of Estonia. With a population of 500, it is small, yet important place – its harbour connects mainland Estonia with its biggest island, Saaremaa.
Trade routes and coastal activities have been here since ancient times. The village has a rich history, which we try to preserve and present to locals and tourists: ruins of 15th century fortress and coastal defence battery, Virtsu manor house remains, and a lighthouse. Another side of Virtsu is its proximity to truly unique nature – Puhtu-Laelatu reserve park, well-known to bird watchers all around the world, is just on the outskirts of the village. During the last two decades, Virtsu, as many rural areas around Europe, has been facing challenges such as depopulation, limited entrepreneurship and somehow fragmented community.
Want to get involved or know more on what Smart Rural 27 is doing in Estonia? Contact us!
Last update: June 17, 2022