City Points is a cloud service in which residents can collect points by taking part in useful activities. It’s been in use for just over a year in Cascais in Portugal with good results, and Infracontrol is now offering the service as a complement to Infracontrol Online. By highlighting and rewarding activities that promote sustainability, the environment and social involvement, the municipality not only sees an increase in resident participation, it also enjoys better citizen dialogs and positive social development.
Rosário Daugbjerg in the department for Citizenship and participation in Cascais municipality talks about her experiences:
– We’re very pleased with our City Points Cascais initiative. We’re still in an initial phase, but already have 2000 residents signed up; City Points help us boost our brand by rewarding residents for their contributions to a more sustainable municipality. At the same time, it allows us to raise the profile of activities that enable residents to get involved in the community, and we thereby promote active citizenship.
Socially beneficial activities gain points
City Points is a service used to acknowledge residents and reward them when they participate in socially beneficial activities, thus increasing their participation and helping achieve a more sustainable society. David Gustafssonis in charge of the service at Infracontrol and talks about the activities it could involve:
– It could mean handing in waste for recycling, night walking, giving blood, participating in voluntary work of various kinds or providing observations and fault reports via Infracontrol Online. It’s entirely up to individual municipalities or organizations to decide what they want their residents to get involved in and how many points they receive.
Individuals collect points by verifying their participation using a QR code and GPS position, or simply getting a marshal to verify this at a venue. But it doesn’t only have to be “work” that earns points:
– I can well imagine municipalities that simply seek to promote a richer outdoor life or want their residents to discover new places. Then the app can be a great tool for plugging and highlighting e.g. a hike along the shores of a lake, a visit to a nature trail barbecue or a beach.
Cascais awards City Points for such things as donating blood, adopting pets, voluntary work, children’s books donations and visiting cultural events.
Points that add value
Points collected gives a ranking for comparison in competition with others, individuals or groups. The top places can in turn earn further points. But the points may also be traded for vouchers:
– The vouchers can be used for admittance to events, for association membership discounts or discounts on selected products and services. People can also give their points to others or donate them for charitable purposes, says David.
In Cascais, residents can use their points for public transit tickets, bicycle hire, start fees for marathon races, concert tickets, buy eco-products and similar.
– It’s important to emphasize that this is without cost to the municipality. The companies allowed to take part and contribute vouchers do so for exposure and to boost their brands in a positive context, says David.