WHAT: Project Kaxås, Sollefteå’s “broadband villages”, and Falkenberg’s and Örnsköldsvik’s empty houses are all examples of initiatives started by residents in each community. The initiatives are based on a desire to create growth in villages or to save or develop the local schools, shops and other socially important functions.
Project Kaxås encourages families to move to the village in Jämtland, Northern Sweden, to build a community in a new local community and save the local school. The village has a strong focus on sustainability, outdoor life and good conditions for teleworking.
The concept of Broadband Villages has been tested near Sollefteå, where two or three households form a local community and try to be as self-sufficient as possible, with good broadband connection to be able to work remotely. The project is also an attempt to save local schools, reduce emissions from commuting and to build the local economy outside the cities.
Falkenberg and Örnsköldsvik are two examples of municipalities that carry out a survey of desolate houses. People who do not use their old family farm or holiday home are encouraged to rent/sell them to new residents, which improves life and views of the countryside. Entrepreneurial people are often attracted from the cities, and play an important role in the development of the local area.
SO WHAT: The above initiatives are all based on a desire to recreate rural communities, and make them more attractive to city dwellers who want a sustainable and active lifestyle close to nature. When telework has become more normalized, the focus is on basic needs such as good internet connection, and local communities of people who work remotely can increase the added value. Villages can benefit greatly from smaller investments in digital infrastructure to develop their otherwise declining local communities, as teleworkers increasingly want to live outside the big cities. This also contributes to regional development and sustainability goals by reducing commuting needs but also by building the local community and economy as people spend more time where they live.