A GREEN SHOUTOUT TO LAHTI, FINLAND - How Technology and the CitiCAP project are helping drive the city to a greener future
If you were to walk up to any stranger on the street and asked them what their carbon footprint was, the chances they would be able to tell you accurately is likely slim to none. The reality is, a large portion of society is completely unaware of the impact their daily activities have on the environment. A carbon footprint is a way for someone to measure the total greenhouse gas emissions they produce.
The global carbon footprint average rests at around 4 tons. However, science has suggested that our best shot at avoiding a 2℃ increase in global temperatures is to reduce our footprints by half by 2050. If our carbon footprint continues to increase, these greenhouse gases so heavily prevalent in our atmosphere will contribute to global warming and climate change. Factor such as travel (time and distance), house utility use, food consumption, and costs of goods and services all contribute to our overall carbon footprint.
In the town of Lahti, Finland a great effort is being made to become completely carbon natural by 2025. The CitiCAP project was developed to address the traffic problems such as air quality issues, congestion and CO2-emissions in the city. With a population of 120,000 citizens and transport responsible for 32% of CO2 emissions, the city decided it was feasible to increase social responsibility for carbon footprints. More specifically, their goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% from 1990 levels by the year 2030.
The initiative is set up to reward inhabitants who respect their carbon quotas through a mobility data platform that allows for real-time tracking and visualization of one’s mobility carbon footprint. When the app logs a reduction in carbon emissions by the user, they are rewarded with virtual coins that can be used to purchase tickets for entry to public swimming pools and local busses.
Eco Four Twenty also wrote a great article on 5 Easy Ways to Go Green.
Another benefit to the mobility of this project is that the data from users will be utilized to develop a 2.5 km smart bicycle highway. This highway will be clearly separated from other transport methods to create a safe cycling framework to encourage smooth and comfortable year-round cycling. Furthermore, safe bicycle racks, energy saving lighting and info screens will be implements on the bicycle highway.
*Photo Credit to the developers of this Cool Eco Project! https://www.uia-initiative.eu/en/uia-cities/lahti
The exceptional efforts put in place by Lahti to develop and operate a personal carbon trading program for the residents exemplifies the endless possibilities available for society to make a change as a collective. The benefits of this program are recycled back into the community to create inspirational ways for citizens to walk, cycle and use public transportation.
The CitiCAP program in Finland is one of the many ways we can mass-incentivize communities to become educated on the notion of carbon footprints, and provide opportunities to encourage environmentally friendly life choices.
If you’d like to calculate your carbon footprint, click here
For tips on how to reduce your footprint, check out this link