Our research on Smart Villages and Living lab concept is becoming a real “mission.” We have made an extensive research of the web and literature, established a lot of valuable contacts, visited many villages and towns, and organized many meetings with communities. And the aim of the mission? To develop the smartest approach to smart rural development.
Having a smart approach is not a simple mission. It is not about giving top-down directives on how to improve certain situation or what to do to find a perfect solution. It means doing a thoroughly preliminary research, consider (economic, social, cultural) contexts, working in close cooperation with communities and understanding their point of view. Only then smart solutions can be “born” and applied.
Our work on projects Smart Villages and LiveRUR is only at the first stages and yet we have already discovered some great practices that developed as answers to specific local/regional conditions. We have described the concept of dispersed hotels in one of our previous post. Another very community oriented solution is connected to Kungota, a small municipality situated in the north-eastern part of Slovenia in the hilly region of Slovenske gorice. We introduce you The house of all generations.
The House of all generations opened its door in 2013 and since then it has developed very lively and interesting set of activities. Main protagonists of the events are elderly, already retired people but a fair share of activities is also being organised by the young and other adults. If one wants to go bowling, take a cooking class, yoga class or be part of a carving society, the House of all generations is a place to go. Are you a small local band in need of a place to rehearse? You know the spot. Are you a passionate about board games? Guess what? In House of all generations you can find a place, equipped with dozens of exciting games and join the playing community.
Volunteers in the House of all generations also work towards social inclusion of the oldest members of the society in the events. Every week a lunch is organised that brings together elderly people that are otherwise unable to attend social activities due to health or mobility issues. A cook volunteer prepares a meal and everyone enjoys a lively social vibe of the House for an hour or two.
They also have a community garden planted with vegetables and herbs. The vegetables are used for preparation of common meals, and the herbs are picked annually, mixed together with some wild herbs and put in small packages of tea that are given away as gifts.
List of activities goes on and on and unfortunately we cannot list every one of them here but don’t worry, we will make sure to attend some future events and give a more detailed report on the activities 🙂