This Entry has been submitted.

trafficO2: Move Play Win

Palermo, ItalyPalermo, Italy
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

TrafficO2 is an app for smartphones that aims to reduce traffic and pollution offering citizens a convenient agreement: prizes in exchange of sustainable moves

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if moving around the city became a game?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

An accessible and livable city is what we need to guarantee freedom and healthiness for citizens, but old cities are not designed for cars. Changing urban structures to meet the “oil based mobility traffic” is costly, degrades our environmental heritage and our precious resources. We need to change the mentality towards mobility, we simply need to focus on human behaviors and change them in order to improve “human transit”

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

TrafficO2’s main goal is to decrease urban traffic and pollution engaging users by giving them rewards for environmentally positive actions. The project indeed target three different urban actors: communities needing traffic management; local businesses willing to invest in innovative local advertising; big companies willing to engage customers with positive values. Users just need to open the app and start moving around the cities to get O2 points. Depending on your destination, you receive information on the different mobility options you have, classified by emissions, costs and calories: the more environmentally friendly will grant you more points. Users collect the points to win prizes and discounts from affiliated local businesses.


2012 - “Smart cities and communities and social innovation” by Italian Ministry of Education and Research; 2012 - EU Campaign “Do the right mix”; 2014 - Social Innovation AROUND Award; 2015 - Smart City Innovation Awards by MIT Enterprise Forum, BNL/BNP
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Marco starts his classes at 9 am at the faculty of Architecture in Palermo. He has got a car but traffic is really a plague and most of the time he arrives late thus starting the day stressed. trafficO2 is an easy and fun game created for people like him, living in cities with a high vehicle density and pollution. He just needs to select the alternative mobility option he prefers and start moving to collect O2 points that can be used to get prizes. If Marco on his way decides to drink a coffee at Moka Bar or he passes nearby other shops partners of the initiative, he gets more points. He can also increase them by challenging friends. So he is a winner, he is there on time, he has been environmentally responsible and he can get a free pizza.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The project has been launched in Palermo that, according to recent analysis, is the worst in Italy and among the 5 worst in Europe regarding traffic (Tom Tom traffic observatory). During its developing phase the project has been tested in 3 different periods involving students of the University of Palermo: the users who have actively used the mobile app are 1877, while 187 local businesses have adhered to the initiative giving prizes and discounts. The mobile app has tracked 13228 routes, recording a total amount of 55.160g of spared CO2. The results, compared with data on mobility habits collected thanks to a survey filled out by the users during the subscription phase, show interesting features allowing to detect specific behaviors connected to urban mobility and improve the solution that may be included in planning processes and result in new solutions for policy-makers in EU.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The testing phase has proved how huge is the potential such as the opportunity of spreading the project on a national and international scale. Test results have shown how, without any structural or infrastructural change, trafficO2 can improve citizens’ behaviours and thus start a process to change cities. Moreover the solution has proved to be cost effective, thus it can be easily integrated in every single city’s alternative mobility system. PUSH is building an international network in order to enlarge the research scenario, test it in new cities and comply with the Horizon 2020 standards.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Public Administrations, Transport Companies and Chambers of commerce can play a key role by integrating the service with the urban fabric, providing media, logistic support and info for the local public transport implementation. Among “Revenue Streams” the project introduce 3 product categories: Service: the platform for communities; Advertising: geo-localized/ propelling marketing; Data: info gathered thanks to the utilization of the platform.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Nuride, Moovel, Urban Engines share with trafficO2 some aspects. Thanks to its activities and technological assets it allows a shift in the state-of-the-art along a number of dimensions and against several gaps: tO2 potentially integrates local mobility offer for each city in a single app; tailor-made route proposals according to individual preferences, tested game strategy to foster good behaviors; social-value-driven proximity marketing; more active devices than the larger experimentation conducted to date (e.g. Smart Citizen); first hand mobility habits data; real time data visualization.

Founding Story

The idea of trafficO2, weird to say, was born in a car from two project designers, Domenico Schillaci (former researcher at Politecnico di Milano) and Toti Di Dio (former researcher at sensible city lab at MIT), during a trip from Milan to Palermo. "The main problem in Palermo is traffic" Benigni starred in a famous film, thus a difficult but challenging place to test the solution. The idea came from young people who had left Palermo to study or work abroad, so the goal was also to create a chance to return and launch a startup, PUSH, to shape a real dream: working for such a beautiful city, but full of problems, that is a difficult challenge but, at the same time, a great opportunity.


Today PUSH consists of a team of 15 young professionals – median age, 28 years old - software developers, architects, engineers, designers and experts in communication & marketing – connected by the passion for technology and urban dynamics, with the certainty that a concrete and sustainable change must start from the bottom, with the right mix of competencies, creativity and determination.