A new app is helping citizens of Lahti, Finland, reduce mobility emissions by rewarding them for using more sustainable modes of transport such as walking or ridin

Lahti is the world’s first city to launch the CitiCAP (Citizens’ cap-and-trade co-created) project, a personal carbon trading scheme to reduce emissions from transport. 

“The CitiCAP app of Lahti rewards people when the CO2 emissions of mobility are low,” Anna Huttunen, Project Manager for sustainable mobility in the city of Lahti, said.

Every inhabitant of the city 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 gives the user virtual coins. These coins can be used to purchase tickets for local buses or swimming halls, bags and pedestrian reflectors, for instance.

When using the CitiCAP app, the user can see their personal carbon footprint from transport and how it evolves as they change their habits.

In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, the goal of the CitiCAP 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.

The app has been tested by a limited number of users for more than a year. During the peak of the coronavirus crisis, the application provided valuable information on changes in movement patterns. In Lahti, car traffic decreased by approximately 30 per cent and the number of bus passengers within Lahti decreased by almost 80 per cent.

The app has been developed with the software development kit (SDK) from MOPRIM, headquartered in Helsinki.

“MOPRIM has developed unique AI technology to determine the transport mode of the user. The resulting data allows deeper understanding of people’s mobility, including the carbon footprint, and enables data-driven development of sustainable mobility,” Petri Martikainen, CEO of MOPRIM, said.

The CitiCAP mobile app is available in Finland on Google Play and App Store, and its use is voluntary. The experiment will last until at least the end of 2020. The CitiCAP project has received funding from the EU’s Urban Innovative Actions initiative.

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