The European Data Portal’s (EDP) recently published an analytical report Enabling Smart Rural: The Open Data Gap. The report focuses specifically on leveraging insights from existing research and use cases to understand and define rural open data and the quality, quantity, use, and barriers of rural open data. Two types of rural open data are discussed:
- Rural populations – data about people living in rural areas.
- Rural economy – data about traditionally rural industries.
The report examines the collection, availability, and use of open data in rural areas through the lens of a smart city. In addition, the report asks what the prioritisation of the development of services and products for urban populations and industries means for the rural populations and rural industries and their specific requirements. Based on the research, Enabling Smart Rural suggests that a smart city approach should not be transposed onto the rural environment. Instead, there is value in a smart region approach that recognises the relationship between cities and their surrounding countryside.