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Resilient Smart Regions: beyond digital infrastructure

Room L5, 06/12/2018 (09:00-09:45)

This session, organized by the European Consortium of Innovative Universities - ECIU, aims at examining the role of digitalisation in European rurban regions, and discussing different strategies proposed by 5 ECIU universities towards the notion of resilient smart regions.

Digitalisation in urban areas has been playing a crucial role in designing solutions for a myriad of problems, leading to the notion of Smart Cities. But what is the meaning of digitalisation in rural areas with a few urban cores? How does the spatial component that characterizes such areas affect solutions already developed for large cities?

Digitalisation for rural areas has so far concentrated on building digital infrastructures for basic connectivity. Much more is however needed, in terms of personalised assistance, social connectivity, service accessibility and mobility. Moreover, the differences between large cities and low-urbanized regions make conventional solutions, under the umbrella of Smart Cities, not necessarily applicable to rurban regions.

We argue that a separate digitalisation agenda needs to be drawn up for rurban regions, to activate dedicated Research & Innovation initiatives leading to appropriate digital solutions. The session investigates different (often digitalisation) approaches to the needs of European rurban areas, leading to a sustainable healthy social-economic life.

Organised by: Maarten VAN STEEN (University of Twente, Digital Society Institute, Netherlands)

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