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The joint candidacy of the parishes of Arroes, Peón and Candanal (Villaviciosa) has been awarded the Exemplary Village of Asturias 2023 Award. The jury highlighted that this joint candidacy has achieved a diversified economy and a great social recovery, as it has been conditioned by a rejuvenation of the population of the area.

The candidacy is based on three fundamental pillars, the first of which is the revitalisation of this area with a project for the future. The second point to take into account is the existence of shared values, which emphasise collaboration, co-creation and the value of rural knowledge. Thirdly, and no less important, is the conviction that people are agents of change, using technology as a tool for change.

The cultural and family ties that these three parishes share are based on a common landscape and a history linked to the Indianos and their commitment to their villages of origin. This fits in perfectly with the recognition granted by the Exemplary Village Award, as it is intended to reward the village, hamlet, population centre, landscape space or human group in the Principality of Asturias that has stood out in a notable way in the defence and conservation of its natural and environmental surroundings, its historical, cultural or artistic heritage, in initiatives of economic and social promotion or in the carrying out of communal works or other outstanding manifestations of solidarity.

Example of new rural economies

These three parishes of Villaviciosa form a privileged environment in which traditional knowledge is fused with disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. In this way, a territory of experimentation is generated for the generation of new rural economies.

In this context, this territory stimulates the recovery of local culture, its valorisation and digitalisation through the participation of neighbours in intergenerational activities. In this sense, neighbours, children and the elderly, are the creators, compilers and ambassadors of heritage content and knowledge available on the website This initiative makes this Exemplary Village of Asturias 2023 a unique case in Spain.

Furthermore, it is a project with clear repercussions for the future of the parishes of Arroes, Peón and Candanal. It is a space for technological innovation thanks to the collaboration of CTIC Ruraltech, the Peón headquarters of CTIC Technology Centre. A Technology Centre for territorial intelligence and technological innovation for the rural environment, which, together with local producers, is turning this territory into a space for disruptive innovation with an important base of social participation.

These parishes stand out for their landscape, history, agricultural and business economic activity, which is configured as indicators of population recovery, collaborative awareness and pride in their cultural heritage. And most importantly, a project for the future with a Technology Centre for territorial intelligence and technological innovation, integrated in the local dynamics and with an important technological deployment in the territory.

CTIC works in collaboration with local producers in order to improve family farming economies, as well as people's quality of life and the generation of new models of landscape redevelopment. All this makes the valley a living laboratory for experimentation that will serve as a reference point for replication in other rural areas.

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