Alsunga is one of two villages in the second smallest municipality in Latvia with 1 390 inhabitants. The local community is mainly made up of people with old cultural traditions – called suiti. The Suiti Cultural Space was inscribed in UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2009.
Alsunga is a good place to live, but ongoing depopulation is reducing available resources , thereby changing the living environment and the need for services. The main priorities are to develop sustainable local food and a craft market to increase marketing volumes for home-based producers. Another initiative is to develop the local school.
Due to administrative reforms, the Alsunga municipality will be incorporated into a much larger municipality and will become an outskirts parish. This will require the development of a strong village strategy and team to keep the development of Alsunga.
For us, ‘smart village’ is a community of people who work together to address their challenges through a variety of methods – the whole community benefits from cooperating with residents and entrepreneurs. The smart village is a process rather than a static state.
Therefore the ‘smart village action group’ was set up as a voluntary association involving representatives of both the Chairman of the Municipality Council, representatives of NGOs, representatives of local authorities and residents. The group is open and calls on all citizens to participate with ideas and concrete actions for the development of Alsunga village.