The benefits of walking or riding a bike for transport are undeniable. It’s great exercise, you save a helluva lot of money, it’s better for the environment, you get to boast about it to anyone who will listen… the list goes on. But while many of us love the idea in theory, sometimes we need a little extra incentive to actually put it into action. And if you happen to live in (or visit) the Italian city of Bologna, you can actually be rewarded for walking, cycling or using public transport… in the form of beer, ice-cream and movie tickets![related_articles]50908,48046[/related_articles]
The city in northern Italy introduced their Bella Mossa, or “good job” program last year, to incentivise people to take more sustainable forms of transport. Created by urban planner Marco Amadori, the program works on a points system using an app called Better Points.
Every time you walk or cycle to get to your destination, you rack up a certain amount of points that can be swapped for goods at participating local businesses.
You can log a maximum of four trips per week for 200 points each, with something like an ice cream costing you 3000 points.
Around 100 local businesses are involved (they are compensated for funds by Bologna’s city government and the European Union) ranging from eateries, bars, pubs, cinemas and yes, gelato parlours. If getting free sweet treats and cold bevvies isn’t incentive enough, the app also shows you how much CO2 you’ve kept from entering the atmosphere.
According to the BBC, more than 3.7 million kms have been logged in Bologna, and 16,000 reward vouchers have been claimed.
The program runs from April to September each year, so if you’re heading to Italy in 2019, you better pack your running shoes![qantas_widget code=BLQ]Check out Qantas flights to begin your next adventure in Bologna.[/qantas_widget]
Emma Norris is a Sydney-based freelance writer and the owner of copywriting business, contentinthecity.com and lifestyle blog, agirlinprogress.com. When she’s not playing with words, she’s either doing pushups or stuffing her face with pizza. There’s no in between. Emma was bitten by the travel bug at a young age, having lived in Canada and Ireland. You can follow her on Instagram @emmajanenorris.