Beat the street

Walking and cycling game with points and prizes


Beat the Street is an international project that was created by Intelligent Health. The project turns towns and cities into a game where people earn points as they walk, cycle and run. It is free for participants to register and play the game.

Objectives and context

There are over a hundred Beat the Street sensors around Milton Keynes. The sensors are known as Beat Boxes. The Beat boxes are mounted on lamp posts across dedicated routes. Players sign up and receive a smart card or fob. The fob or card can be swiped at the sensors and the action is logged on the account. A leader boardpage on the website shows how many miles have been covered. The prize fund was £750. The charity to benefit was Action for Youth.

Description

Beat the Street is an international project that was created by Intelligent Health. The project turns towns and cities into a game where people earn points as they walk, cycle and run. It is free for participants to register and play the game.

Beat the Street is about behaviour change through gamification of encouraging citizens to be more active. The project worked with schools, Doctors surgeries, local authorities, community organisations. The incentives for the citizens are to win prizes and raise money for charity while getting fit. The benefit for local authorities ishealthier and happiercitizens.

Beat the Street was a 12 months project in the UK.

The project was promoted by the UK government through Public Health England.

Milton Keynes Council took part in the project between 1st February and 22nd March 2017.

Participants can join as individuals or teams and they can win a voucher for sports activities if they make a ‘lucky tap’.

Achievements

Beat the Street has 522,005 worldwide participants and 300,000 UK participants in April 2017.

The organisers benefit from data from the citizens. The estimated return on investment based on NICE calculations is in the following table.

Healthcare benefits include happier and healthiercitizens who visit the doctor less and are not overweight

.Transport figures are also encouraging with reduced emissions due to citizens increasing their cycling and walking activities.

Productivity is seen to improve as the quality of life improves.

Along with these successes there were a few disappointments. Some people cheated by swiping more than one card as they passed the beat boxes and vandalism was also a setback in MK.

Advice for replication

As with most behaviour change incentives, there is no one magic project that will engage every citizen. Milton Keynes has several incentives to encourage cycling that complement Beat the Street. Having dedicated web pages with project specific information will speed up the interaction between citizens and council website.

Get Cycling –part of wider scheme for smarter travel in MK. The project has a google map with local routes, bike shops, cycle groups and clubs.

Commuting -aMilton Keynes Council (MKC)web page with advice on the positive impact of cycling such as longer life expectancy and less days off work due to illness.

Families and Children –an MKC page with advice and tips for route planningand training for the whole family.Velo:City Riding –rider blogs with first hand tips and advice for cyclists –as sort of user manual with information on types of bikes, best types of cycling clothing, cycle racing and group rides, hand signals, perfect foods for cycling and the importance of staying hydrated.

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