The free mobile CitiCap app automatically tracks a means of transport used and allows citizens in the Finnish city to benefit from reducing their own mobility emissions.
The city of Lahti in Finland has introduced a personal carbon trading (PCT) scheme to help reduce emissions from transport by encouraging a shift to sustainable mobility. Lahti’s strategic target is to reduce C02 emissions by 70 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030.
Every city resident can download the free mobile app that automatically tracks the means of transport used. If the app tracks that the user has replaced driving a car with walking or biking, the app automatically awards the user virtual coins. These coins can be used to purchase tickets for local buses or swimming pools, bags and pedestrian reflectors, for instance.
“The CitiCap app of Lahti rewards people when the CO2 emissions of mobility are low,” said Anna Huttunen, project manager for sustainable mobility in the city of Lahti.
When using the CitiCap app, users can see the personal carbon footprint from transport and how it evolves as they change habits. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, the goal of the CitiCap (citizens’ cap and trade co-created) project is to collect and make available digital data about mobility. Using that data, the city of Lahti can develop new transport services for its citizens.
“Sustainable urban mobility is a key focus area of Lahti for the next years. Our aim is to find the most inspiring ways to attract more people to walk, cycle and use public transportation,” added Jyrki Myllyvirta, mayor of Lahti.
“Through CitiCap we will build a completely new public incentive, the personal carbon trade, that may revolutionise the participation of citizens to climate change mitigation.”
The app has been tested by a select number of users for more than a year. During the peak of the coronavirus crisis, the city notes the application has provided valuable information on changes in movement patterns. For instance, car traffic decreased by approximately one third (30 per cent) and the number of bus passengers within Lahti decreased by almost 80 per cent.
“Sustainable urban mobility is a key focus area of Lahti for the next years. Our aim is to find the most inspiring ways to attract more people to walk, cycle and use public transportation”
The app was developed with the software development kit (SDK) from Moprim, heaquartered in Helsinki.
“Moprim has developed unique AI technology to determine the transport mode of the user. The resulting data allows deeper understanding of people mobility, including their carbon footprint, and enables data-driven development of sustainable mobility,” said Petri Martikainen, CEO of Moprim.
The CitiCap mobile app is available in Finland on Google Play and App Store, and its use is voluntary. Lahti said the experiment will last at least until the end of 2020.
The CitiCap project has received funding from the EU’s Urban Innovative Actions initiative.
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