Belfast, Ireland Pilots Community Currency App, Promotes Civic Responsibility

The City Council of Belfast, Ireland is piloting an app that will reward residents for spending time in green spaces and reporting vandalism. The “community currency” – Civic Dollars – can be exchanged for rewards such as a free gym session, public transport travel pass, or tickets to visitor attractions.

Developed by Moai Digital, the Civic Dollars app uses geofencing technology – where GPS signals are used to determine when a target customer enters a predefined boundary. In this pilot, the boundaries will be parks and green spaces, with the aim of encouraging residents to be more active and to improve park safety.

In the first location chosen for the pilot, a park user can earn one Civic Dollar per half hour – up to a maximum of five dollars per day. Different amounts for different locations can be set in the app. People can also earn one Civic Dollar per submitted and verified report of vandalism. The council plans to use the data from the app to better understand how people use green spaces in the city and improve park management.

Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl said: “Exercising outside and connecting with nature really can help our mental wellbeing. So it’s fantastic that, thanks to this pilot scheme, people can now earn Civic Dollars for the time they spend in our parks and open spaces.”

App users also have the option to donate their earned Civic Dollars to Belfast-based community groups. The rewards and incentives received are provided by local companies, which gives them a way to promote their business while also supporting local community groups.

Stephen McPeake, CEO, Moai Digital Ltd, said: “Life these days is about so much more than just money – it’s about improving our communities, and our own health and wellbeing – Civic Dollars provides the perfect solution with a new social currency.”