Smart Villages support in Belgium – Wallonia
The SR21 Country Page
information on Smart Villages in Belgium – Wallonia
How is the concept of Smart Villages defined?
No formal definition of ‘Smart Villages’ in Wallonia.
Is digital a key feature of Smart Villages?
Digital is an important dimension of smart solutions developed by the Walloon smart villages. The stakeholders involved in the development of smart solutions, however, regularly remind that digital is only a tool for the benefit of the development of territories and that technology is not an end itself, but digital can be a lever for revitalising the territories.
Is social innovation a key feature of Smart Villages?
Social innovation is an important dimension of smart solutions developed by the Walloon smart villages. The stakeholders involved (institutional and technical operators) in the development of smart solutions consider that social innovation must be at the heart of the driving forces behind the development of rural territories. The intelligent development of territories requires collective intelligence and the enhancement of the territories’ social capital.
How is the CAP supporting Smart Villages?
Walloon Public Service (SPW)
Anne Dethy, Director
Indirectly, no specific interventions for Smart Villages, but smart project development through the action of several Walloon LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs).
No specific interventions for Smart Villages, support is provided indirectly through LEADER.
CAP Network support
Yes, specific Smart Villages network activities on Smart Villages:
- Training/ workshops on/ for Smart Villages
- Seminar “Smart Rural Territories” of December 16, 2021
- Regular dissemination of news/ information/articles in the Network’s communication media
How are other policies supporting Smart Villages?
Agence du numérique/Digital Wallonia (AdN)
Direct support is provided.
Regional (non-EU funded)
Regional 2019 – Smart Region Project: Fourty territorial intelligent/ smart projects implemented, involving more than 50 towns and municipalities and six inter-municipal economic development. Budget of EUR 4 mln.
For further information please click here.
Smart Rural 27 – Smart Villages Taskforce
The initial purpose of the taskforce in Wallonia has been to analyse and disseminate the experience acquired in the Walloon context by key Smart Villages actors – such as LAGs, Economic Development Agencies and Digital Wallonia – to other rural actors unfamiliar with the process/approach, in particular to prepare them to the future call for “smart territories” projects to be launched by Digital Wallonia in 2022. Through the work of the Taskforce, the gradual networking of the main rural actors concerned by the Smart Villages approach should make it possible to identify/define/specify the challenges to be met.
Smart Villages in Belgium – Wallonia
Viroinval is a municipality assembling 9 villages ( Dourbes, Le Mesnil, Mazée, Nismes, Oignies-en-Thiérache , Olloy-sur-Viroin , Treignes , Vierves-sur-Viroin and Viroinval) in the south of Namur Province in Belgium. The whole 9 villages has around 5,700 inhabitants on 120,89 km2 out of which 22,5 % of farming land and 65,68 % of forests. Viroinval is the municipality in Belgium with the highest density of its territory in Natura 2000 and in natural areas with protected status. This asset is valued within a sustainable tourism development strategy. Viroinval has also received the European EDEN prize in this category.It is also a forest town with the PEFC label which is studying a sustainable strategy for a wood energy sector. The municipality already has a wood boiler for social apartments and for its nursing home.Read more
Bertrix is a municipality assembling 5 villages (Auby-sur-Semois, Bertrix, Cugnon, Jehonville, Orgeo) in the Luxembourg Province of Belgium. The whole 5 villages has around 12,500 inhabitants on 137,7 km2 out of which 41,03 % of farming land and 48,86 % of forests.
The Municipality of Bertrix has made new technologies (smart village) a main focus of its Declaration of municipal policy 2018-2024.
Profondeville is a municipality assembling six villages in the Haute-Meuse river valley situated 80 km south-east of Brussels, in the Namur Province, Belgium. All six villages count around 12 000 inhabitants.
Profondeville is not famous for its cathedrals, museums or monuments, but for its rich and picturesque nature (out of 50,34 km², 50 % is farming land and 27 % are forests). The area is famous for its paragliding spots, underground cavities good for speleology, outdoor activities such as hiking and bicycling and, above all, water sports on the Meuse river.
Profondeville’s villages also have a reputation for the vivid social life they offer. All year long festivities set the pace for gatherings that strengthen social ties and help newcomers to get involved.
Located near the city of Namur, Profondeville faces the stakes of many suburban villages. It has to keep its rural identity and quality of life while accompanying the unavoidable development of housing and tertiary sectors.
Want to get involved or know more on what Smart Rural 27 is doing in Belgium – Wallonia? Contact us!
Last update: August 23, 2022