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More than smart technology: a conceptual framework for Smart Countryside


  • Thomas Weith Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.
  • Achim Prossek FU Berlin
  • Ulf Weddige Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.
  • Annelie Gütte Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.
  • Jana Zscheischler Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.



Digitalisation , Smart countryside , Concept , Spatial justice , Knowledge management , Co-design , Rural regions


Up to now, there is no equivalent to the smart city concept for rural areas. Such a concept can draw on the findings and experiences from the urban context, but must adequately take into account the characteristics and structures of rural areas. This is where the enrolment of a concept for smart countryside in this paper starts as an action-oriented framework. Through an integrative consideration of current trends and tendencies, normative debates about equality and justice as well as possibilities in various fields of action, it includes development options that become possible through digitalisation and ‘smart’ implementation. Their realisation should be strongly demanddriven. The concept includes also governance processes and knowledge management, and the application of co-design approaches. Development potentials of digitalisation are seen beyond simple technology orientation. The concept of digitalisation presented here can contribute to a more comprehensive transformation of rural areas towards sustainability. It formulates a joint design mandate for politics, society and science.


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Research Article

How to Cite

Weith T, Prossek A, Weddige U, Gütte A, Zscheischler J. More than smart technology: a conceptual framework for Smart Countryside. RuR [Internet]. 2022 May 25 [cited 2024 Jul. 22];80(3). Available from: