Smart Countryside – better services in rural areas by using digitalisation and experiments

Digitalisation and urbanisation have drawn a great wave of attention and numerous projects and studies on the Smart City etc. A similar wave of attention has not however been directed at the countryside, even though digitalisation might have a greater impact there where the distances are longer, volumes smaller and the pace of service structural change quicker. MDI, Spatia, the Finnish Environment Institute and theUniversity of Vaasa conducted a study on the current state, opportunities, international practices and service-user views on digital services in rural areas. The results were used in preparing for the experiments phase of the project beginning in 2017. The project was part of the implementation of the Government Plan for Analysis, Assessment and Research for 2016 and was steered by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The project’s Smart Countryside – Developing and diversification of rural areas’ services by using digitalisation and experiments phases and results (in Finnish, Summary in English) are reported on site www.mdi.fi/smartcountryside.