In the Valle de Peón, Candanal, and Arroes, located in Villaviciosa, Asturias, an innovative project named CTIC RuralTech is underway. This initiative is revolutionizing the approach to rural challenges in an ever-changing world.
The project is designed to address crucial issues such as depopulation, isolation, the loss of agricultural biodiversity, and the impact of climate change, all with the goal of ensuring a sustainable future for this region. CTIC RuralTech has implemented a comprehensive approach to “Smart Villages” in this environment, establishing a framework that promotes technological, social, and environmental experimentation.
The study area encompasses three parishes in the municipality of Villaviciosa, with a population of 1,029 inhabitants and a diversified economy that includes small family farms and a thriving entrepreneurial spirit. Collaboration between CTIC RuralTech and the local community, with an intergenerational focus, is essential for this project.
Results so far have been remarkable, with an empowered community and a heightened sense of rural identity. The recovery and sharing of local ecological knowledge have been achieved through a collaborative web platform. Furthermore, smart sensing technology has been implemented in the valley to monitor resources such as orchards, farmlands, and beehives.
In summary, the Valle de Peón, Candanal, and Arroes have transformed into a smart area thanks to the symbiosis between the local community and CTIC RuralTech. This project underscores the pivotal role of rural areas and their communities in building a more sustainable future, driven by technology and local expertise
The main challenges facing rural territories today include: depopulation, ageing, agricultural abandonment, changes in land use, loss of biodiversity and alteration of landscapes, among others.
Challenges that coincide with such important global challenges as tackling climate change, food sovereignty and major forest fires, to name but a few.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program under grant agreement no 101060876. UK participants in Horizon Europe Project RURALITIES are supported by UKRI grant numbers: 10051963 The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership and 10050988 Earthwatch Europe.