Smart Villages support in France
The SR21 Country Page
information on Smart Villages in France
How is the concept of Smart Villages defined?
There is a definition of ‘Smart Villages’ in France.
Firstly, the national association Ruralitic has defined the concept of ‘Smart Villages’. But this definition is not an official one yet. According to Ruralitic a ‘smart village’ implies different key elements that contribute to a holistic approach:
- Allow access to a good internet connection to enable a better access to services;
- Allow citizen participation (via digital tools) and participatory democracy;
- Use new technologies to achieve energy sobriety (smart grid, car-sharing…);
- Promote sustainable development (buildings, architecture…);
- Ensure the development of human capital (training, online courses…);
- Develop a culture of entrepreneurship and help stimulate employment on the territory (telework…);
- Ameliorate access to public services, notably through the internet (website, digital mediation);
- Is open to exchange with other territories (at the national or international level);
- Enhance the circular economy (food, production…).
Secondly, the French Rural Network launched a study in 2021 on Smart Villages, the first step of which was to share a common definition, in partnership with the French association ADRETS (focused on local development networking). The definition they developed for Smart Villages is the following:
“A territory which acts for a sustainable development, by appealing to cooperative logics and collective intelligence and possibly using the potential of digital technology to answer to its current challenges and future.”
Is digital a key feature of Smart Villages?
No specific information available on this aspect.
Is social innovation a key feature of Smart Villages?
Social innovation is a key criteria in the definition provided by the above organisations. This is reflected in the co-definition of the solutions by local stakeholders. The development of collaborative logic makes it possible to answer differently to the needs and problems observed in the territory and to diffuse an alternative view on the challenges at stake.
How is the CAP supporting Smart Villages?
Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Indirectly, no specific Smart Villages intervention
No information available yet on Smart Villages support
Réseau Rural Français (RRF)
CAP Network support
Several network activities have been implemented on Smart Villages.
Training/ workshops: The French Rural Network, in partnership with the French local development association ADRETS, has organised three consultation committee meetings between October 2021 and February 2022. The objective of these consultations was to build a common vision on Smart Village strategies and concept. The NRN also organised a good practice webinar, on 18 May 2021.
Regularly dissemination of information : The NRN is regularly sharing information on experiences and good practices on its social media channels and website.
Smart Villages Thematic Group of similar forum: The NRN launched a mission, in partnership with the ADRETS, to define and help implementation of Smart Villages strategies, aiming to:
- Analyse how the ‘Smart Villages’ concept can contribute to local development;
- Develop a guide for local stakeholders and elected representatives to assist in the implementation of Smart Villages strategies, as well as produce recommendations, ideas and feedback from this first experience.
Collection of specific examples/good practices: A survey, identification of 50 territories with inspiring practices (out of which 15 will be selected and elaborated), factsheet for each of the selected territories: those are the results of the data collection performed by ADRETS and the NRN.
Smart Villages Guidance: A guide for local elected representatives on the implementation of Smart villages strategies.
How are other policies supporting Smart Villages?
Other policies support Smart Villages in France.
The ERDF supported indirectly projects in rural communities including the smart approach, with a focus on integrating the issue of digitalisation in rural areas. It supports the development of synergies between local stakeholders (R&I, companies, universities) to foster local and smart development. This approach was promoted through the Interreg Alpine Space programme presented below.
EU – Interreg
The transnational approach makes it possible to bring new ideas and new tools for the implementation of a smart village strategy. The Smart Villages project in the Alpine Space is one example that brings together 13 partners from six countries.
Please find further information about Smart Villages support in France on the Smart Rural 21 project’s France country page.
Smart Rural 27 – Smart Villages Taskforce
No taskforce is set up yet
Smart Villages in France
Arvieu is a small village located in the Occitanie Region, in France. Despite a rich heritage, the village was suffering from desertification and a lack of opportunities. In the 2000s, it changed with the installation of the cooperative Laëtis, specialized in digital. Thanks to several initiatives (creation of a third place, accessibility of new services, organization of several events…) initiated by its members, the life of the village starts again. Inhabitants are also included in the local life through public meetings, to discuss about municipal policies and decisions.Read more
Lormes is municipality located in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Region. “Let’s Invent together the rural territory of the Future” is the slogan of the project, initiated by Lormes in 2015. This journey began in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with a ground-breaking territorial 2.0 policy to foster the economic and social potential of ICT and Internet for remote rural areas. Since these years, the municipality developed different solutions : the creation of a platform “Faire compagnie” to answer isolation of the elderly, a “digital mission” to promote digital inclusion or the implementation of transportation facilities to the different schools of the area.
Lormes has an ambition to be a village of the future. Connected to global digital opportunities but also galvanising the community to co-create priority local services. The fibre-optic internet in every street and a multi-functional digital hub/fab-lab and related services, create new opportunities for business, local government modes and the rural community.
Moncontour is a small village in Brittany. As the village suffers from ageing population and the lack of economic development, the municipality decided to offer new opportunities to the village through digitalization. In order to meet the needs and attract new inhabitants, the municipality supported the creation of the third-place “Chez Yvonne”, in partnership with local stakeholders. Created in 2020, this third-place offers digital services, places to meet or to organize events. It is meant to enhance social life and to create a communal place to meet.Read more
Want to get involved or know more on what Smart Rural 27 is doing in France? Contact us!
Last update: May 24, 2022