Smart cities and rural areas – how does this fit?
A smart city generally refers to an urban area that uses advanced technology to improve the quality of life for its residents and visitors, while also making the city more sustainable and efficient. To expand this definition to include rural areas, it could be rephrased as: "A smart region is an area, urban or rural, that uses advanced technology to improve the quality of life for its residents and visitors, while also making the region more sustainable and efficient."
Rural areas can also benefit from smart technology and smart solutions, with various challenges that are unique to rural areas. Smart agriculture is a good example where technology can be used to increase the efficiency and productivity of farming, through precision agriculture and precision livestock farming using IoT devices, drones, and other technologies, this can enhance the quality of life in rural areas. Another examples, Smart grid in rural area, where connecting remote communities and households to grid power can be challenging, due to the high cost of building power infrastructure and the low population density of rural areas. Smart grid solutions, such as microgrids and distributed energy resources (DERs) can make it more cost-effective to provide power to rural communities and improve the quality of life.
The idea of a smart region, therefore, would encompass the use of technology to improve the lives of people living in both urban and rural areas, by addressing the specific challenges and opportunities that each area presents.