Smart territories as a driver for the transition to sustainable regional development and green economy

Anastasia Y. Nikitaeva, Olga A. Chernova, Lesego Molapisi


Relevance. Even though there is a general agreement regarding the importance of the transition to a green economy, this process still has a long way to go, which makes the research on the role of smart territories particularly relevant.  

Research objective.  The study aims to describe the opportunities and areas of digital transformation of territories with a focus on the transition to a green economy.

Data and methods. The research methods include content analysis, case study, mapping, and matrix analysis. The data sources were scientific articles presented in the Scopus database, materials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technologies, and Energy Security, materials from the Central Bureau of Statistics of Botswana, the Botswana Energy Company.

Results. Using the case of Botswana, the study showed that the establishment of a smart territory is the core mechanism of a transition to a green economy. Smart territories help regional governments to reach the sustainable development goals by using cutting-edge digital technologies. 

Conclusions. The article proposes a new approach to analyzing the transition to a green economy. This approach can also be applied to reconsider the composition and roles of the drivers of territorial development. The proposed methodology can be used to create a smart contour for the development of a given territory, taking into account the region’s industrial specialization, and to identify the most promising areas and "bottlenecks".


smart territory, economic development, green economy, smart energy, digital maturity, sustainable development

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