THE Diputacion de Almeria has set out what it is promoting as a smart solution to depopulation in small inland localities.
‘Almeria Smart 2023’ will, the provincial government says, be a roadmap which will enable municipalities to “transform and modernise, improving environmental, economic and social development through new technology”, which will in turn contribute to encouraging people to remain living where they are.
Speaking at the presentation, Presidency, Depopulation and Tourism deputy Fernando Gimenez said the strategy will be aimed at municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants, and was conceived as a new line of action for dealing with the province’s demographic challenge. He said the plan will “boost quality of life and provide more opportunities and possibilities, with respect for the environment and the efficient management of resources as the background.”
He stressed the plan is being drawn up according to principles of “effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, transparency and participation.
“We started on this new road with the involvement of all areas of the Diputacion because we consider that the application of ‘Smart Cities’ technology makes opportunities equal, and therefore fits with the Diputacion’s main objective: the fight against depopulation”, Gimenez commented.
In terms of time frame, the provincial administration said it would take four months to conclude work on the strategy, with a view to putting the study conclusions into action in 2023.
Financing from other administrations will be “essential”, the deputy made clear.
He gave examples of subsidies through initiatives like the Junta de Andalucia’s intelligent city programme, the Smart Village intelligent development European network and the European Regional Development Fund.