The city of Lahti, in Finland, has launched the EU-first Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) scheme in a bid to promote a shift towards from private car use to sustainable mobility.
The scheme is based on a mobile app, CitiCAP, which calculates the personal weekly emission budget for each user and encourages trips that require fewer CO2 emissions. The project is part of the European Union's Urban Innovative Actions initiative funded under the European Regional Development Fund.
Developed by the City of Lahti in partnership with universities and technology companies, the app has been in the pilot phase since January 2019. The app launch is part of Lahti’s activities in the framework of European Mobility Week.
Each participant shall receive a weekly allowance worth 17 kilograms of carbon dioxide, which corresponds to approximately 90 kilometres per week. Users that spend less than their CO2 emissions budget, thereby polluting less, will receive a reward.
The app takes into consideration whether people share a car trip, or if the car is electric. Users will be able to add more information about the trip, such as the number of occupants and the type of engine, which will all be accounted for while counting the cost of each trip.
Moreover, users with children under the age of 15, living far from the city centre or with health issues will have a higher weekly CO2 emissions budget. “The scheme grants additional rights to users depending on their personal life, so as not to punish anyone for their baseline," says Anna Kuokkanen, project manager at the LUT University, partner in CitiCAP.
Co-creation and citizen participation one of CitiCAP’s main strengths. With this initiative, Lahti seeks to enhance its Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) process by integrating the traffic and spatial master planning processes into the same co-designed entity.
The city hopes that the Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) scheme trial will lead to fresh policy ideas in support of low-carbon mobility solutions and showcase the high potential of smart mobility services.
Photo: courtesy of CitiCAP project.