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Sustainable city development: Finland's CitiCAP initiative

Smart, sport-friendly green city mobility, promoting healthy alternatives of transport for both people and environment and credit-rewarding for users too!

Anna Huttunen, project manager of CitiCAP
https://www.uia-initiative.eu/en/news/how-does-citicap-project-promote-sustainable-mobility-through-citizen-engagement

Carbon dioxide emissions from cars and other means of transportation has long been a challenge necessary to combat by countries and cities all over the world. In the European Union, various projects have been created with dedicated funds allocated to state members willing to implement and develop innovative ways of cutting CO2 consumption in favor for a greener deal. 

Lahti, a city in southern Finland challenged the idea of cutting carbon emissions completely through the CitiCAP project. The project focuses primarily on creating and implementing a Personal Carbon Trading scheme (PCT) for mobility throughout the city while reducing emissions. So in order for this to work, an app has been designed for this project which tracks the choice of transport each citizen employs every time they set out in the city, awarding them with credits for choosing smart mobility choices. 

The app is meant to stimulate citizens to slowly abandon using their private cars within city borders in hopes of helping the carbon emission reductions, decongesting traffic and help making the city greener! The credits citizens are awarded with allows them to get discounts on bus tickets, bicycle service repairs and other products and services in the city. 

So, if you are a citizen of Lahti, head down to your friendly smartphone app store and download the CitiCAP app here for Android users or here for iOS users . The app will monitor your choice of transport each day and award you adequately based on your choice. Ride your bike today or take the public transport and you’re due for a reward!

In order to further help this initiative, the town of Lahti also set out to build a 2.5 kilometer cycling highway that will separate cyclists safely from the rest of the traffic. This sort of initiative is the perfect balance between authority and citizen engagement on a matter that concerns everyone and also is part of the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 in combating climate change.

The project  received most of the funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Urban Innovative Actions (another European initiative). The project programming period is situated between 2014-2020, with the end of 2020 marking the final conference before launching the application to the public. The target is that until the end of 2020, at least 2.000 people should have used this application during the pilot period.

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