EPRC's 2019 European Policy Seminar Series continued with Professor Bill Slee, who is an Emeritus Fellow at The James Hutton Institute. Bill presented his work on Smart Villages: A Scottish Perspective on an Emergent European Initiative.
Bill discussed how two competing discourses frame current policy thinking about smart villages: first, modernising farming and rural communities by means of the provision of a high-speed IT infrastructure to provide a launchpad for innovation; and second, using social capital to overcome weaknesses caused by declining public services and market frailties through community action. Bill explained that although a good digital infrastructure is desirable, it is not a necessary characteristic of a smart village. Scottish rural development policy has taken a distinctly communitarian turn in the last two decade, and a broad-based instituitional architecture is now there to support a diverse range of social, economic and environmental initiatives.
A report by Bill Slee which reviews the main objectives of the Scottish Government for sustainable inclusive economic growth and the legislative framework to achieve it can be found here.
EPRC would like to thank Professor Bill Slee for sharing his research, which led to some really interesting questions and discussions from those attending the seminar in Glasgow, and colleagues who were participating in the seminar from EPRC Delft in the Netherlands. Bill Slee's presentation can be found here.
For more information regarding this seminar, please contact EPRC's Stefan Kah.
The next EPRC seminar will take place on 6th March 2019, when Alistair Prior of the Scottish Rural Network Support Unit will present his work on Rural Networks: A Scottish perspective on supporting the implementation of Rural Development Programmes.
Download the EPRC Seminar Series programme here.