Europe’s rural and mountain areas, both in perceptions and in practice, still lack urban areas’ level of attractiveness to work and live, the same level of (public) services, the same level of  innovation in the economy and the same awareness of their own assets. This is mostly due to a lack of digital infrastructure, a lack of high-level (public) services, a gap in digital skills and competences, a lack of tailored smart actions and policies and a subsequent lack of economic opportunities that often result in instances of depopulation and economic decline.

Digitalization is an opportunity for rural and mountain areas to catch up with the assets urban centres have. One of the action of the Interreg Alpine Space SmartCommUnity project is to develop the Smartalps network in all the EUSALP countries.

Smart Alps Network

An informal network of alpine smart villages and regions, which aims to:

  • disseminate the Smart Villages approach and foster the smart transformation in mountain and rural areas in the Alpine arc,
  • encourage the exchange of information and experiences among Smart Villages and Smart Regions within the Alpine area,
  • transmit a modern image of mountain and rural areas,
  • foster contacts with similar networks and initiatives for mountain and rural areas all over Europe.

SmartCommUnity project

The SmartCommUnity project aims to support Alpine rural areas, using all the benefits of digitalization, embracing smart transitions and creating a functional transnational community within EUSALP AG5 Smart Alps. Interactive and user-friendly digital tools enhancing transnational matchmaking and leading-by example will empower new areas to follow more advanced areas, and territories will develop a community approach to create smarter, greener, more sustainable, resilient, and attractive rural areas.