New report ranks smart villages in Romania, Ciugud takes first spot
The smart village concept is gaining popularity in Romania, with several rural communities using new technologies and digital tools to improve their living conditions. The turnkey smart solutions integrator Vegacomp Consulting identified 224 projects in 147 communes in Romania and used these figures to rank the country’s smart villages.
Thus, according to the Mapping of Smart Villages in Romania report, Ciugud is the leading promoter of this concept in the country. With eight projects implemented, the commune in Alba county, the historical region of Transylvania, takes the first spot in the ranking.
Alunis in Mures county is not far behind, ranking second with seven projects. Boghis (in Salaj county) and Saschiz (Mures county) share third place with five projects each, followed by Balasesti (Galati county), Corunca (Mures county), Manastiur (Timis), Selimbar (Sibiu), and Snagov (Ilfov) on fourth place.
“If in last year’s Smart Villages chapter of the Smart City Mapping report we identified 69 smart village projects in the early stage, in the process of being implemented or already implemented at the level of 59 communes in Romania, this year we found 224 projects in 147 communes, which confirms an increase of over 300% in the number of projects in this field,” said Cornel Barbut, CEO of Vegacomp Consulting.
The Smart Governance vertical leads the ranking, followed by Smart Economy and Smart People. The top is different from the ranking of smart cities, in which Smart Mobility occupies the first place, and the Smart People vertical is last.
According to the same source, in general, Smart Village projects include, but are not limited to, the following areas: health, education, economy, environment/sustainable development, digitization and digital transformation, renewable energy, food, awareness and civic engagement.
Respondents in the Vegacomp report said that depopulation and demographic decline, the lack of necessary funds to ensure improved public services and the low level of territorial attractiveness are the main challenges the rural communities face when implementing smart solutions.
This report’s methodology is similar to that used in Smart City Mapping. Vegacomp Consulting collected and verified data and information from three sources: town halls, suppliers, and media. Thus, addresses were sent to 2,685 town halls in Romania, of which 272 responded and 147 completed the questionnaire. The report includes the information obtained from the town halls and other sources between April 1 and June 30, 2022.
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