(16 November 2020) – Prof. Bill Slee (The James Hutton Institute, UK) shares his reflections on the links between Smart Villages and the European Green Deal.
He argues that smart rural communities are already providing many inspiring examples of how to address each of the challenges identified in the European Green Deal at local level.
A “just transition” is called for in the European Green Deal and this is explicit in the transformational changes observed among various types of smart communities – in ecovillages and in collaborative environmental partnerships addressing water quality and biodiversity, renewable energy communities, in local food systems, and initiatives for sustainable mobility.
Smart Villages focus on inclusive development. They seek to leave no one behind. They mobilise local communities and draw on collaborative arrangements with researchers to co-design more sustainable futures.
The examples chosen in Bill Slee’s article for the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) show the diverse nature of initiatives and institutional forms which are trailblazing the pathway towards the Green Deal outcomes in rural Europe.