Digital Periphery? A Community Case Study of Digitalization Efforts in Swiss Mountain Regions

Bürgin, Reto; Mayer, Heike (2020). Digital Periphery? A Community Case Study of Digitalization Efforts in Swiss Mountain Regions. In: Patnaik, Srikanta; Sen, Siddhartha; Mahmoud, Magdi S. (eds.) Smart Village Technology. Concepts and Developments. Modeling and Optimization in Science and Technologies: Vol. 17 (pp. 67-98). Cham: Springer 10.1007/978-3-030-37794-6_4

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Rural economies have undergone major changes in recent years as traditional rural economic sectors declined and shifted. At the same time, digital technologies emerged and rural communities experience profound transformations. In this chapter, we analyze how technological change leads to changing rural economies in a Swiss mountain community. Although Switzerland has one of the highest national coverage of broadband in the world, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the transformation of its rural economy due to digitalization. The community case study’s 46 qualitative interviews show that digital connectivity in peripheral mountain communities is experienced differently by various actors. On the one hand, digitalization offers new economic opportunities to larger businesses, larger hotels, schools and health service providers. On the other hand, particularly smaller businesses struggle with the high cost of becoming digital and their owners tend to become more cautious and stressed as competition and price transparencies in the digital economy become intensified. In terms of spatial aspects, we argue that digitalization reduces cognitive distance between core and periphery while physical distance between the urban and the rural still exist.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography > Unit Economic Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Bürgin, Reto and Mayer, Heike

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
700 Arts > 710 Landscaping & area planning
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISBN:

978-3-030-37793-9

Series:

Modeling and Optimization in Science and Technologies

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Carmen Metzler

Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2020 07:58

Last Modified:

15 Jul 2020 07:47

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/978-3-030-37794-6_4

Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

digitalization, broadband, peripheral community, switzerland, Urban-rural linkages

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/141176

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