WHAT: It is no longer environmentally responsible to grow cities, so Sollefteå – a small city in Northern Sweden – is developing the concept of “Bredbandsbullerbyar” (Broadband bubble villages). This concept moves 2 or 3 households to the countryside and encourages contribution to the local environment: using local resources, growing the countryside, and allowing local schools to stay open, for example. It is clear that telework will continue after the pandemic, and that in some cases it will lead to increased involvement in the local community: commuter towns will grow and may develop new businesses, restaurants etc. as a result of more people spending time there rather than in the bigger cities.
SO WHAT: Allowing people to live in the countryside and reducing commuting can stimulate local development, as well as contribute to environmental sustainability – something many surveys have found as a benefit of remote work – by reducing unnecessary commuting. Ericsson’s report on the future of remote work found 77% of respondents indicated the shift to dematerialisation through technological investment would make workplaces more sustainable. This also contributes towards local development or other sustainability targets.
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