Planning, Housing and Infrastructure for Smart Villages  book cover
1st Edition

Planning, Housing and Infrastructure for Smart Villages

ISBN 9780815365655
Published December 13, 2018 by Routledge
236 Pages

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Book Description

Some 7.3 billion people currently live on the planet. Of these, 3.4 billion live in rural areas. In just a few regions—Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa—less than 50 per cent of poverty is now located in rural areas. But for the rest of the world's regions between 55 per cent and 80 per cent of the poor continue to live in the countryside. Progress is being made, but much of the knowhow needed is not disseminated outside of a small coterie of professionals who work in the area. With urban development attracting a great deal of attention lately, poorer rural areas deserve the same and new knowledge for empowerment of rural communities is urgently needed.

This book provides an overview of current thinking and practices that have emerged over the last thirty years for uplifting rural communities in developing economies. Drawing on a body of knowledge across a spectrum of relevant disciplines, this book provides a range of innovative ideas for rural planning, housing and infrastructure development.

Governments in many emerging economies, where rural poverty is often most acute, have attempted to improve livelihoods. Approaches and techniques that have been used for urban development are often not applicable to rural communities. Studies show that money allocated for rural development is often not effectively spent due to distance, lack of infrastructure, lack of education, poverty and other factors. Meanwhile, the gap in development between the city and country continues to grow, sometimes leading to social and political instability, in both developing and developed countries. This book seeks to provide a guidebook for meeting such challenges.

Through in-depth enquiry of global practices and thinking about rural development, and selected case studies, the authors argue that careful consideration must be given to incorporating issues of resilience, resourcefulness and the involvement of communities at grassroots levels in realising the transformation of rural settlements into Smart Villages.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

Rural Settlements

What is a Smart Village?

Millennium Development Goals

Making a Smart Village

Chapter 2. Income Generation


Businesses around Agriculture

Non-Timber Forest Products


Financing opportunities

Recommendations for best practise

Chapter 3. Education and Skills Development


Providing a classroom experience

Maintaining attendance

Achieving educational attainment

ICT and libraries

Adult Education

Reducing conflict through education

Recommendations for best practise

Chapter 4. Agriculture


Crop Management

Livestock management

Recommendations for best practise

Chapter 5. Housing


Rural house and climatic responsiveness

Building Designs

Changes over time

Smart Villages

Recommendations for best practise

Chapter 6. Energy



Microgrid technology options

Hybrid systems

Electrical Energy Storage

Recommendations for best practise

Chapter 7. Waste



Anaerobic Digestion

Recommendations for Best Practice

Chapter 8. Water and Sanitation


Provision of potable water

Sanitation facilities

Treatment of wastewater

Balancing water resources

Recommendations for best practise

Chapter 9. Transportation


Road infrastructure development

Road maintenance

Beyond roads: completing the picture of transport infrastructure

Recommendations for best practise

Chapter 10. Health and Wellbeing


Foodborne illness

Prevention and treatment of communicable diseases

Access to health care

Emergency response

Recommendations for best practise

Chapter 11. Environment


What is Biodiversity and why does it matter?

Can biodiversity loss be reversed?

Forest preservation


Environmentally Friendly Energy?

Recommendations for best practise

Chapter 12. Governance


Giving citizens a meaningful voice

Government community partnerships/ local leadership

Communication between governments and citizens

Intergovernmental Communication

The role of NGOs

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Hemanta Doloi is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Dr Doloi is the founding director of the Smart Villages Lab (SVL) and the lead investigator of the Smart Villages Project, sponsored by the Government of Assam, India, for developing solutions on affordable housing and infrastructure systems.

Ray Green is a professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Coastal Towns in Transition (2010) and co-author of The Green City: Sustainable Homes, Sustainable Suburbs (2005). His research has been published in urban planning, landscape architecture and environmental psychology journals.

Sally Donovan is a research fellow with the Smart Villages Lab in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Dr Donovan has over ten years’ experience researching environmental management and environmental policy development.