The urban planner Marco Amadori came up with an ingenious way of getting more people into ‘green travel’. In 2017, he initiated the start of an anti-pollution scheme called Bella Mossa, which translates to English as the ‘Good Job’. Since then, the people of Bologna and its visitors have been rewarded for cycling, walking, and taking public transport. All they need to do is download an app and record their trips. In return, they get things such as free beer, ice cream or cinema tickets.

“For the first time, we have been able to involve all people. The system of point collection is based not on the distance you travel but on a single trip, because it’s important that even for short trips of 1 km you do it in a sustainable way,” Marco Amadori told BBC.

There’s a GPS tracker making sure people don’t cheat and use the form of transport they say they do. The app shows how much CO2 you saved on each trip.

The aim is to make sustainable travel more appealing. And it looks like it’s working. Over 100 local businesses have signed up to give away vouchers. 16,000 of those were claimed last year. And more than 3.7 million km were recorded through the app.

People can only log 4 journeys a day. That’s to make sure everybody keeps using the app over time to eventually get the rewards. So far, Bella Mossa runs only for 4 months of each year. There are, however, talks of extending that period of time.

It is funded by the EU and the local municipality.

Would you like this to happen in your city as well?

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