Nudging for sustainable mobility: The REACTIVITY project

In a world grappling with growing challenges such as air and noise pollution, traffic congestion, and increasing chronic illnesses due to unhealthy lifestyles, the need for intermodal active mobility and technological tools for its implementation has never been more pressing. Recognizing this urgency, the REACITIVY project, implemented in cities like Lecce (Italy) and Braga (Portugal), emerged as a beacon of change.

The REACTIVITY project: A catalyst for change

In 2023, the REACTIVITY project nudged and promoted intermodality and active mobility by rewarding citizens with economic incentives to spend in local shops in Lecce (IT) and Braga (PT). At the same time, the project collected and monitored travel data to inform data-driven measures, policies, and investments.

With the project’s gamification and rewards mechanism, users accumulated points and achieved goals by opting for more sustainable modes of transport (i.e. walking, micromobility, public transport, carpooling), and won vouchers to spend in local shops joining the REACTIVITY network. By rewarding intermodality and active mobility, the project discouraged private car dependence for urban travel and supported the reduction of CO2 emissions. 

REACTIVITY press event in Braga.  

An innovative nudging solution

At the heart of the REACTIVITY project lies a technical solution designed to collect, gamify, engage, and define measures supporting intermodal active mobility, as well as an active mobility knowledge package to plugin into a multisource dashboard.    

The technical solution is twofold. Firstly, it enhanced the existing Pin Bike solution, enabling the rewarding of intermodal mobility behaviour. Secondly, it seamlessly integrated the collected data into the TIM Urban Genius Platform by TIM (Telecom Italia) to support multi-source monitoring in urban settings. 

The Pin Bike system certifies user travel by all forms of sustainable transport (i.e. walking, micromobility, public transport, carpooling) in urban areas. Data collected through the Pin Bike app is aggregated with information from other sources, such as sensors on urban buses. Furthermore, the tool supports the planning and co-creation of urban spaces, traffic control, and infrastructure development in a more efficient and ecologically sustainable way. 

Beyond supporting city authorities and encouraging local commerce, this tool also assists companies who, under the new European Corporate Sustainability Directive regulations in force from January 2024, will be required to track and report greenhouse gas emissions from employee commutes. The optimisation of home-work travel has now become mandatory for companies across Europe. 

Local businesses participating in the REACTIVITY network reward scheme. 

The results 

The REACTIVITY solution was implemented, tested, and validated in Braga and Lecce from July to November 2023, involving almost 700 citizens and 60 shops. The ouctomes were remarkable, showcasing a significant increase in active mobility (6,7% and 15,2% respectively), a reduction in car use (4,6% and 8,1% respectively), a substantial decrease in CO2 emissions (almost 30 tons collectively), and an impressive +80% user retention rate. 

In Braga, 475 users logged nearly 13,000 sessions, covering a distance of 103,891 kilometres and saving 18,728 kg of CO2 emissions. A little over €6,000 in incentives in the form of vouchers were reimbursed to the 35 local businesses engaged.  

Similarly, in Lecce, 162 active users completed over 6,400 sessions, covering 36,656 kilometres and saving 9,874 kgs of CO2. The pilot engaged 16 commercial businesses, and the users of the solution received vouchers earned through the use of public, sustainable, and active travel methods. Thanks to its participation in the REACTIVITY project, the Municipality of Lecce was awarded twice in 2023 for good administrative practice: at the City Vision of Padua event and the Urban Award as part of the Anci National Assembly.  

To delve deeper into the transformative Reactivity project and Pin Bike, visit their dedicated websites.