Smart rural areas

Smart rural areas take advantage of the possibilities that digitalization offers for economic, social and environmental development. With smart rural areas come a demand for open, useable and accessible geodata.

The conditions are good!

Sweden has plenty of rural areas – areas that have a richness of places to live, things to experience, biodiversity and natural resources. Sweden also have a plentiful of entrepreneurs and innovation. This means that we have good conditions for creating living and smart rural areas that take advantage of the possibilities that digitalization offers for economic, social and environmental development.

Why is digitalization important for smart rural areas?

Digitalization strengthen rural areas as an arena for entrepreneurship and businesses in the field of experiences and tourism as well as for places to live and work in. Trade, businesses and culture are moving away from the cities to the digital world in a fast pace. Logistics get mot effective, vehicles become self-driving and the workplace becomes virtual.

The agricultural businesses are going through a period of intensive digitalization. Data from machines and sensors are being generated at a faster and faster pace. Businesses and branches of industries are developing their own digital systems, systems that need to interact with public produced geodata. This increases the businesses competitiveness at the same time as It increases the possibilities to capture and protect water, land, services for ecosystems, biodiversity, cultural heritage sites as well as strengthening the rights of saamis and land owners.

Digitalization makes It possible to map all values in the rural areas:

  • Economic growth for jobs and businesses in both established and new basic industries
  • Ecological values, which is an important prerequisite for reaching the Swedish environmental goals and the goals for sustainability in Agenda 2030, and
  • Social values for the protection of our cultural heritage and for the development of experiences in nature

Open and accessible geodata in cooperation – a prerequisite

Digitalization creates opportunities for living rural areas with new businesses and growth, especially with in the recreation and tourism industry. But it is also demanding. Rural areas must not be left behind in the infrastructure for information. It must be made possible to collect and manage the large amounts of data that is needed for smart rural areas in an efficient way.

And most of all – the data needed must be open, usable and accessible.

The same data is used in many different contexts by both large and small actors. One example is the entrepreneur in tourism and the land owner. They both need access to the same data in order to come to an agreement in the best possible way. Forestry, conservation and reindeer husbandry are other examples of businesses with the same need for data.

Cooperation and an amount of national management is therefor more efficient and equal than if each sector shall manage their own supply of data. A clear commitment from the state to secure the access to basic data is important.

What we want to achieve in the challenge smart rural areas:

  • The rural areas are a driving force for economic growth, nature experiences, tourism and recreation. Land owners, customers, entrepreneurs and the nature experiences they offer can for example be easily connected to each other in order to supply solutions for payments, information and agreements.

  • Innovation, development and automatization within the relevant businesses are facilitated and the possibilities for the exchange of data between the state and private businesses are good.

  • Different businesses and interests cooperate and can manage conflicts of interests

  • The Swedish environmental goals and Agenda 2030 will be achieved

  • Digitalization strengthen the development of infrastructure, attractive living areas, development of trade, service and innovative commerce solutions

  • Planning, follow-up and reporting are facilitated in regions and local authorities. Especially smaller local authorities and actors shall have access to relevant data.

This is how we reach our goals:

  • Use new techniques and new working methods to map all values that the rural areas contribute with and secure the data quality. Define basic levels in consensus with all actors in society.

  • Start securing the quality of geographic positioning in the register for real estate, ancient remains and other public register data in order to fulfil present day demands from users.

  • Secure todays level of data supply from aerial photographs, laser data and satellites as well as develop resolution, frequency and quality.

  • Define and secure the public undertaking regarding the supply of data for businesses and other actors in the rural areas through
    - Implementing and expanding the national framework for basic data with information from relevant authorities
    - Implementing/expanding the domains for basic data with information from relevant authorities

  • Investigating how a stable, mobile data communication from all points at land and sea can be achieved.

  • Continue to digitalize analogue data, for example historical aerial photographs and historical maps.

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