App launches to reward Belfast residents for spending time in local parks

  • A new ‘Civic Dollars’ mobile phone app has been developed, which will allow people in Belfast to earn rewards for the time they spend in their local parks and open spaces.

    Rewards include Translink DayLink passes and tickets to visitor attractions, or the Civic Dollars can be donated to Belfast-based community groups in exchange for various services such as business training, professional advice and activity centre sessions.

    Developed with support from Belfast City Council and the Department of Justice, the Connswater Community Greenway will be the first area to go live in the free pilot scheme, followed by other parks across the city.

    Funded through the ‘Amazing Spaces, Smart Places’ project, the scheme is part of the council’s Smart Belfast programme, which is exploring how data and innovative technologies can create smart solutions for urban challenges and help to improve city services.

    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.

    “The Civic Dollars app also provides a promotional platform for local businesses, services and events - and the insights we’ll gather will help us to better understand how people use green spaces, improve park management, reduce vandalism, littering and anti-social behaviour and enhance the visitor experience.”

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    Justice Minister, Naomi Long added that "effectively managing public open spaces is a key element in developing a safe community, where we respect the law and each other.

    “The Civic Dollars pilot scheme holds the potential to deliver real benefits to local communities by using technology to improve the safe use of our parks and open spaces; something that is so important for both physical and mental health," she continued.

    Stephen McPeake, CEO of local company Moai Digital Ltd and creator of the Civic Dollars app 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. It’s a win win all round!”

    The CivicDollars app can be downloaded free from the App Store or Google Play Store. The pilot will run until the end of Summer 2021.

    For more information about the project, visit

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