- Virtual Social Networks as a Booster for Reaching Liveable Villages: Examining Serbian Cases    click here to open paper content1854 kb
by    Lalovic, Ksenija & Milovanovic Rodic, Danijela & Nenadovic, Aleksandra | ksenija.lalovic@gmail.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Virtual social networks identified in Serbia lead to a renewal of abandoned villages. Discussion on initiatives processes, results and IT role leads to recommendations for enabling their inclusion in rural development planning.
There is a extreme growing gap between the quality of life in urban and
rural areas in recent decades in Serbia. The rural population in search of new options and greater possibility of choice rapidly leaves villages and settles mostly in peripheral areas of cities. In this way quality of life in the cities is further degraded, while the remaining population in the villages, entangled in the traditional patterns of behavior and opinions, is less and less able to maintain the minimum conditions necessary for quality of life and economic.

On the other hand, the Internet has become integral part of everyday urban life and contributes to connecting people, their knowledge and ideas in a qualitatively new way, and increasingly more economic and social activities are relocated in the virtual space. A special phenomenon is the rapid spread of, so-called, virtual social networks, which now started to have the effect of action and intervention in real space. People of similar value preferences, interests and life styles are easier to find, to establish partnerships and became more able to better organize and increase efficiency in achieving its interests.

In recent years in Serbia we can identify examples of informal, virtual
social networks that have led to a renewal of life in more or less
abandoned rural areas. Their drivers, themes, scopes, duration and effects are different. Common is that essentially represent a quest for a healthier and better lifestyle, oriented towards the respect of the existing natural and man-made values, ecologically sensitive agricultural production, sustainable development and land use. We believe that this represents a good ground to review existing patterns of thinking and working on the revival of the underdeveloped areas, and to become more open to massages that new self-organized initiatives spread.

The paper will present and discuss examples of these initiatives, in terms of processes that have been initiated and achieved results, with special emphasis on the role and importance of virtual services within them. The aim is to formulate recommendations for their inclusion within the systems of management and planning of rural areas development, and to give some perspectives on practical issues of institutional and organizational support enabling.
Virtual social networks, livable villages
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