Development of Smart Rural Village Indicators in Line with Industry 4.0

Pontsho William Maja, Johan Meyer, Sune Von Solms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In 1950, approximately 1.8 billion lived in rural areas and subsequently, rural population growth averaged 1.0 per cent per year, with the result that the rural population nearly doubled, reaching 3.4 billion in 2018 and is expected to peak in 2021 at just over 3.4 billion. Rural villages are lacking behind urban areas when it come to the stages of industrial revolutions and societal development with respect to technological advancement. Today, the world is faced with the new wave of advanced technological revolution called Industry 4.0. Despite the impressive work being implemented successfully to create smart cities and smart villages in various countries, there are still no developed standard indicators that can be used to define smart rural village concept. The objective of the study is to develop indicators for smart rural villages aligned with Industry 4.0 technologies using systematic literature review, the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, as well as the ISO 37122, smart cities indicator's standard. The translation method developed prioritized indicators according to sustainability, smartness and connectivity from the Information and Communication Technology. The main contribution is the method and indicators developed over 2-year period for smart rural villages. The resulting indicators makes it possible to answer what a smart rural village is: village that has access to affordable energy, adequate housing, safe drinking water, an inquisitive rural culture, early warning systems against adverse weather conditions, against drinking water pollution as well as the predictable schedule for local doctor, taxi/bus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9169887
Pages (from-to)152017-152033
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Indicators
  • industry 40
  • smart city
  • smart rural village

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Computer Science


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