This GP aims to foster sustainable mobility through an app that rewards citizens who choose public transport and soft/active mobility.
Technology can effectively support to reduce the use of private transport and clean fuel vehicles. Gamification is a proven process consisting in adding game like elements to encourage participation. Bella Mossa used gamification as a fun way to encourage people using sustainable mobility and quite a new approach. In the Bella Mossa initiative, there were challenges among single user or companies’ teams that aimed at fostering a sustainable way of moving.
Specifically, the app foresees a rewarding system: every trip made by foot, bike, public transport system or car sharing is collected and assigned a score. When a threshold is reached, rewards are available for the user to spend. At the same time, the collected data are available to public administration for planning purposes.
The Bella Mossa initiative used an already existing app called BetterPoints, developed by a British company 7-8 years ago for campaigns focused on behavioural change. However, the app was heavily customised by SRM to adapt it to the purposes of the Bella Mossa initiative. In fact, Bella Mossa gave a reward not only to users who changed their means of transport, but also to users who already moved in a more sustainable way. Moreover, the rewards were offered by sponsoring commercial activities in Bologna that have acquired visibility.
Bologna was a Take up city in the H2020 EMPOWER project. The project allocated 100,000€ to develop the campaign, divided in: 25,000€ for ICT; 25,000€ for recruitment; 25,000€ for marketing. The remaining amount was redistributed on marketing and recruitment.
Evidence of success
The app was a great success among people: the developers aimed to involve 10,000 citizens, but over 21,000 users made an account and, among these, 15,000 were active users.
Users were very satisfied about it: 73% of the users declared to have reduced the use of the car and 77% declared to walk more.
The app was not developed for Windows Phone operative system, because statistics shows that only 5-6% of smartphone users has WP operative system. The cost to develop the WP version would have been too high to be considered worthy.
Potential for learning or transfer
The GP can be considered portable and transferrable to other contexts. The crucial point is the definition of a proper rewarding scheme balancing cost and benefits for the public administration. Rewards can be provided in different forms, directly by the municipality or through agreement with commercial partners interested in gaining visibility and improve their reputation. Its transferability is largely proved by the CIVITAS award won. Skilled people to develop and implement the app are necessary. For an app user, a smartphone and data connection are the prerequisites to use Better Points.
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