Belfast is trialling a community currency mobile app which enables people to earn ‘Civic Dollars’ for the time they spend in local parks.

Through their Amazing Spaces, Smart Places project, Belfast City Council is exploring how data and innovative technologies can help manage parks and open spaces, ensuring they are safe, accessible and enjoyed by all.

With funding through the Department for the Economy’s Small Business Research Initiative, and support from the Department of Justice, the council is working with two small businesses – Moai Digital Ltd and SparroWatch – to develop and trial innovative solutions in local parks and open spaces.

The Small Business Research Initiative enables the public sector to tap into new ideas and technologies created by innovative local businesses. It also provides innovators with a great opportunity to trial and test their prototype in a supportive real-world environment as part of their product development.

What is the Civic Dollars app?

Civic Dollars, developed by Moai Digital Ltd, is a community currency app which enables people to earn ‘Civic Dollars’ for the time they spend in local parks, as well as reporting issues such as vandalism.

Once you’ve earned enough Civic Dollars, you can exchange them for various rewards such as a gym pass, Translink travel card or visitor attraction tickets. You can also donate your Civic Dollars to a local community group and they can use them to access various services such as training, professional services and activity centre sessions.

Why are they trialling the app?

The app aims to encourage citizens to be more active in their local parks and open spaces and improve their lifestyle.

The insights generated through the app, which uses geo-fencing technology and is based on a social cryptocurrency platform, will help the council to better understand how people use green spaces in the city, improve park management, reduce vandalism, littering and anti-social behaviour, and enhance the visitor experience.

The app also provides a promotional platform for local businesses that choose to provide rewards and incentives, and supports local community groups.

How can I take part in the trial?

A trial of the Civic Dollars app will take place in various Belfast parks from 3 June – 30 September 2021. To take part in the trial, simply:

  1. Download the free Civic Dollars app from the App Store or Google Play Store
  2. Use the app to ‘check in’ to Connswater Community Greenway, Falls Park, the Waterworks or Ormeau Park and earn one Civic Dollar for every half hour you spend in the park (daily limit applies)
  3. Exchange your Civic Dollars for rewards or donate them to a local community group.

Moai Digital Ltd would welcome feedback from trial users of the app to help further develop their product. What do you like about the app? What additional features would you like to see included? How can it be improved? You can email your feedback to info@civicdollars.com.

If any local businesses would like to take part in the trial and provide rewards and incentives, please register your interest by emailing info@civicdollars.com.

More information

For more information on Civic Dollars, visit www.civicdollars.com.