In a bid to reward CO2 reduction, Vienna on January 27 unveiled an app in which if one decides to take public transport, cycle or walk, they will be eligible to win free concert and museum tickets. According to reports, initially, only 1,000 users will start a test of the smartphone app from February 26 and if the six-month test is successful, the app is expected to be rolled out to the broader public in autumn.
While speaking to an international media outlet, Vienna city council member Peter Hanke said that the city wants to reward CO2 reduction with a cultural experience and the app will allow users to collect culture tokens' whenever they commute car-free. He further explained that the app works through a tracking system that recognises the mode of transport used and calculates the CO2 savings in comparison to taking a car.
The users will reportedly receive one token as soon as they save 20 kilograms of CO2, which would be reached if an average resident within the city limits commuted without a car for two weeks.
According to international media reports, the tokens can be exchanged for free tickets at four participating cultural institutions including, the Vienna Museum, an art exhibition space, a theatre and a classical concert. However, it was further revealed that in the test phase, the cultural institutions and exhibitions won't be compensated. The new initiative unveiled during the newly formed coalition government between the conservative People's Party and the Greens further aims to be climate neutral by 2040.
Vienna is not the only city which plans to be climate neutral. Earlier this month, Yorkshire, the historic city of northern England also announced its plan to ban private car journeys in the city centre as it aims to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The city had been witnessing extremely high levels of air pollution which forced the councillors to chalk out an ambitious goal of banning all non-essential private car journeys inside city walls by 2023. In November last year, Bristol announced its plan to ban all privately owned diesel cars to improve air quality.
(with inputs from agencies)