Co-creating and implementing a Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) scheme to promote sustainable and low-carbon mobility to reduce traffic emissions in Lahti
Approximately 32% of total CO2 emissions are contributed by the traffic sector within the city area of Lahti. The lack of mass-transit options in Lahti and many other medium-sized cities in Europe underlines the fact that there is a need to create mobility solutions to reduce traffic CO2 emissions.
The CitiCAP project aims to change the attitude and behaviour of citizens towards mobility to encourage the switch from private car use to sustainable mobility. CitiCAP strives for the development of new transport services while creating innovative incentives for sustainable mobility. The aim is also to integrate the ITS approach into sustainable urban mobility planning.
CitiCAP focuses on co-creating and implementing a Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) scheme for mobility to reduce traffic emissions in Lahti. The project includes the development and introduction of a new mobile application based on a transport mode detection solution to monitor individual emissions and to calculate the personal mobility carbon footprint. Through this application, citizens can receive benefits, such as bus tickets, in exchange for sustainable mobility choices.
One of the basic requirements of CitiCAP is to collect comprehensive data on citizens’ mobility choices. In addition to implementing PCT, the mobile application will serve as a planning tool for city mobility planners and as an open-access mobility data source for innovators. The project will also include the construction of a smart cycle.
The city of Lahti’s CitiCAP project has been granted 4.7 million Euros of project funding from the EU’s Urban Innovative Actions initiative.
Evidence of success
Thanks to CitiCAP, Lahti is the first city in the world to develop and implement a system for mobility emissions trading for its citizens. In September 2019, about 600 Lahti citizens tested the application. The test users have been enthusiastically involved in the development of the app and the idea for personal carbon trading has been considered good. Building a smart cycle lane that works as a pilot arena for smart mobility services and offers visibility for PCT starts in April 2020.
The development of the new technology of the CitiCAP app, especially for a transport mode detection solution, has been challenging. The system of the app is complex, and it hasn’t been an easy task to get all the different parts by different developers to function properly in sync.
Potential for learning or transfer
The starting point for the CitiCAP application is the emissions cap set for the city, which limits how much emissions the city can produce at an annual rate. The application developed in the project provides a practical instrument for reducing CO2 emissions by incentivizing citizens and providing benefits in return for reducing the carbon footprint. The potential for emissions savings by a user can be even 25% (baseline 21,5 kg CO2-ekv.). After further development and the implementation of all the features of the application, it can be launched for a wider public.
Hopefully, the CitiCAP project would inspire other cities to develop own PCT schemes. Several cities have shown interest in the project and have been thinking about how they could utilize this kind of scheme. As such, the app is not transferable elsewhere, but a similar kind of app could be built based on models by CitiCAP. The project team has been considering how to make a more easily replicable version of the app.
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