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Appropriate technology (AT) is technology that is designed with special consideration to the context of its use - including environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economical aspects of the community it is intended for. With these goals in mind, AT proponents claim their methods require fewer resources, are easier to maintain, and have less of an impact on the environment compared to techniques from mainstream technology, which they contend is wasteful and environmentally polluting. The term is usually used to describe simple technologies proponents consider suitable for use in developing nations or less developed rural areas of industrialized nations. This form of "appropriate technology" usually prefers labor-intensive solutions over capital-intensive ones, although labor-saving devices are also used where this does not mean high capital or maintenance cost.
Appropriate technology is an ideological movement (and its manifestations) originally articulated as "intermediate technology" by the economist Dr. Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher in his influential work, Small is Beautiful . Though the nuances of appropriate technology vary between fields and applications, it is generally recognized as encompassing technological choice and application that is small-scale, decentralized , labor-intensive , energy-efficient, environmentally sound , and locally controlled. [ 1 ] Both Schumacher and many modern-day proponents of appropriate technology also emphasize the technology as people-centered. [ 2 ] Appropriate technology is most commonly discussed in its relationship to economic development and as an alternative to transfers of capital-intensive technology from industrialized nations to developing countries. [ 2 ] [ 3 ] However, appropriate technology movements can be found in both developing and developed countries.