("day 118: bergdorf window" by cuttlefish is licensed with CC BY-NC 2.0.)
One of the major issues faced when attempting to move people away from using cars and toward sustainable transport options is the fact that cars indicate a high social status, making many reluctant to get rid of them.
Another problem is the ingrained nature of car use for short journeys, where many people instinctively choose to drive for convenience or just as a habit. This means that many suggested ways to decrease car usage, like increasing taxes on fuel or congestion, aren't usually supported by policymakers, who may fear backlash from interfering with many people's preferred way of life.
In light of this, gamification can be used to create an environment where behaviors such as walking, cycling, or wheeling to school or work are viewed more positively than car use. The mass appeal of community-level competitions like these, which reward active travel with points, badges, and a higher position on a leaderboard, may be more effective in shifting the social norms of the communities in which they take place.
This is a great idea - it reminds me of Pokemon GO in that people will happily be more active if they are having fun.
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