Making kids ‘secret smartphone agents’ to pinpoint traffic problems is part of the Norwegian capital’s plan to create a safer, greener, car-less city
As ‘secret agents’ for the city, children use the app to send reports from their route to school about a difficult crossing or heavy traffic. Photograph: Jon Skille Amundsen
Friday 2 September 2016 07.13 BST
If Pokémon Go has taught us anything, it’s that apps and gamification have the potential to change the way we interact with our cities; and as cities become smarter, citizens are increasingly having a greater influence on their development.
A new Oslo-based app has taken that idea further and is giving power directly to the people who, when it comes to urban planning, are too-often left out of the conversation: children.
Two years ago, Vibeke Rørholt, who has worked in traffic safety in Norway for more than15 years, began compiling a report that looked into road safety for children in Oslo. Commissioned to work for Norway’s Agency of the Urban Environment, Rørholt had to come up with a way to encourage the capital’s 44,000 children to walk or cycle to school. What better way to find out how they feel about their own security than by asking them directly?