The App That’s Rewarding You for a Walk in the Park

HIRANI The app that’s rewarding you for a walk in the park

Caption Stephen McPeake CEO Civic Dollars

Civic Dollars can earn you a free cup of coffee just for spending time in local green spaces.

Over the last few years, local innovator Stephen McPeake has been building on his passion to combine his two greatest passions: technology and contributing to positive social impact.

Stephen McPeake, founder of Moai Digital, used his experience in the tech sector, which spans over 25 years, to introduce Civic Dollars to Belfast.

In 2019 he introduced the Civic Dollars app that rewards the city’s residents for spending time in green spaces.

For being nearly as easy as walking and chewing gum at the same time, the app can see you earning a free cup of coffee just for being in a local park.

In doing so you’re improving your health, enhancing your mental wellbeing, supporting a local café, and being socially inclusive.

he free of charge app is based on a community commerce model where people can earn ‘Civic Dollars’ by spending time within parks, open spaces, heritage and conservation zones.

Once Civic Dollars are earned, they can be traded for discounted or free services, community classes, or donated to local community groups and charities.

Belfast City Council originally piloted the app two years ago at the Connswater Community Greenway followed by other parks.

The benefit of the app is unique as it covers multiple themes of economy, tourism, infrastructure, health and wellbeing all in one app.

It also helps people to give back, support local small businesses and promote parks and green spaces.

What has resulted is using tech and innovation to utilise city spaces, promote local attractions, increase physical activity, change behaviours, encourage switches to multi-modal transportation, and improve mental wellbeing.

The data generated will allow for more informed decisions to be made for capacity planning and infrastructure projects. It can study data on footfall to show where people are spending their time and how to encourage future visits.

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