Smartphone solutions for smarter, greener urban mobility

If the arrival of spring is not enough to get you out walking and cycling, then an EU-funded initiative is launching a number of mobile applications to incentivise you to do so.

CIVITAS TRACE  aims to assess the potential of movement tracking services to better plan and promote walking and cycling in cities. Four tools are currently being developed and tested that focus on enhancing environmentally and community-friendly urban mobility and encouraging the take-up of walking and cycling.

Three of these are applications are mainly targeted at members of the public. In their own way, Positive Drive, Biklio, and the Traffic Snake Game will each help to improve urban mobility, reduce urban congestion, fight pollution, andencourage users to lead a more active lifestyle.

The Positive Drive app has a number of functions. It gives users information that makes their journeys more efficient; tracks the multimodal use of transport, ranging from walking and cycling to buses and cars; and provides a flexible platform for conducting various types of mobility behaviour campaigns,  including reward or coaching programmes.

Similarly, Biklio offers incentives to users. It seeks to nurture cycling communities in urban areas by encouraging people to take their bikes with them when they go shopping . The rewards for doing so include discounts or bonus items from local businesses, which then benefit from increased custom.

The Traffic Snake Game, which was initially deployed in the Belgian region of Flanders and is now being rolled out across Europe, is designed to enable parents and teachers to monitor schoolchildren’s journeys to and from school.

TRACE also looked at how the tracking data could be used. The result of this was TAToo, a platform that provides urban mobility planners, policymakers, and city officials with precise information about how cyclists and pedestrians use urban transport infrastructure.

This should lead to improved transport and mobility planning decisions,  for example regarding pedestrian areas and the setting up of cycling paths and networks. In turn, this forms the basis for creating the cleaner, greener, and healthier European cities of the future that all citizens deserve to live in.

To find out more information about the TRACE project, visit

Author: Raffaele Vergnani

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