How to use gamification to encourage citizens to decrease their travel-carbon-footprint?
- Project: Multimodal Transport
- Location: Brugge (Belgium, 118.600 inhabitants)
- Challenge: Developing sustainable, multimodal transport options for journeys under 7 km
- Solution: Gamification to encourage citizens to decrease their travel-carbon-footprint
Because of the increasing population and the increasing number of cars, our roads are getting more congested every day. This has a negative effect on not only traffic and parking situations, but also the overall health of the citizens (think air quality). Therefore, the city of Bruges wants its citizens to make the shift from a high-carbon-commute to a low-carbon-commute, to use a sustainable mode of transport, such as (electric) bikes or even public transport, avoiding cars, for journeys under 7 kilometres. As well as contributing to a reduction in traffic gridlock and reducing parking pressure, commuting by foot or cycling has multiple advantages for society and individuals. It can increase the amount of exercise taken, improve the quality of air breathed and improve health via reducing weight.
To facilitate this, we need a way to both measure current and potential travel behaviours and the impact on air quality, public space and safety, and also a way to inform people of this in order to encourage them to change their journey behaviour.
Gamification Nation wants to create a POC of an App, which will make it possible to measure routes taken by users, as well as the transport mode used. This data will be available for city departments to evaluate. With the help of gamification elements, the App will work to ‘nudge’ citizens towards more carbon-friendly transport modes such as walking, biking or even the use of public transport. Gamification Nation will employ a bottom-up approach, meaning that an in depth study of travel behaviors by Bruges citizens will be made, as well as researching viable gamification methods, as a first step towards designing and developing the tool. These steps will prove critical to ensure a long-lasting effect of the tool, so citizens have enough incentives to continuously use the App for a longer period of time.
At the current stage in the pilot, the focus is on collecting data through surveys, as well as developing design- and gamification workshops with selected target audiences (high-school and college students, city-workers, voluntary citizens). Due to current circumstances, the workshops as well as the project were temporarily put on hold. Once the workshops are through and the data is collected/evaluated, a first paper prototype of the App will be developed.