Like most urban centers around the world, Bologna has its share of traffic congestion. One major initiative to address this problem was the designation of a pedestrian zone in the city’s historic center that strictly limits automobile traffic. (There are special provisions for tourists who need to get to hotels located within the zone.)
But traffic in most areas of Bologna, which fall outside the zone, still remained challenging, often exacerbated by the frequent strikes (scioperi) and political demonstrations that are typical in Italy.
Goals of Bella Mossa
My Facebook friend, Laura Bizzari (a language teacher in Bologna), recently posted a BBC video on Facebook about an innovative project in Bologna, called Bella Mossa, that aims to make a difference in health and quality of life.
The project is funded through European Commission’s Horizon 2020, an EU program to promote sustainable transport. Launched in April 2017, the project uses incentives to reduce vehicular traffic and CO2 emissions by encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transportation.
You can view the BBC video, The City That Gives You Free Beer for Cycling, here.
What is Bella Mossa? How does it work?
- Through a smartphone app (downloadable in the App Store or on Google Play), individual participants are able to record their sustainable journeys as they go about their lives in Bologna.
- By doing so, they are able to earn mobility points. In addition, schools and businesses can register as teams.
- Then through a public/private partnership, participants can exchange their mobility points for discounts and goods offered by local businesses.
According to the Bella Mossa website, some 22,000 people joined the program in the pilot phase between April and October, recording more than a million activities.