Pieter Bonnema and Harald Wouters
IEEE Members: $11.00
Non-members: $15.00Pages/Slides: 20
During this session you will learn more about a showcase innovation project in the city of Heerlen, the Netherlands. This former mining city faces challenges due to its declining population and has been struggling with substantial socio-economic disadvantages for decades. To counter the high cost of public space maintenance, low civic engagement and high vacancy rate of retail in Heerlen, the Municipality of Heerlen and its partners created the platform Heerlens Heitje. Within the European Commission's Urban Innovative Actions initiative, the city developed a digital platform by applying blockchain technology for delegating city maintenance tasks to its citizens. Via the Heerlens Heitje smartphone app, citizens of Heerlen can apply for easy public space maintenance tasks assigned by the municipality. Completed and approved tasks are rewarded with a local digital currency: Heerlens Heitje (1 Heitje = 1 euro). These Heitjes can be spent at local shops, bars and cultural facilities within the city. The goals of the project are (1) to increase civic engagement, (2) to improve the quality of the public space and (3) to stimulate the local economy.