Smart D8 Civic Dollars Parks Pilot

Smart D8 has launched its largest pilot project to date with the introduction of a new ‘Civic Dollars’ community currency to encourage use of public parks and drive better health outcomes for the community.

The project, led by Dublin City Council, will use a smartphone app to reward visitors with the new Civic Dollars for spending time in participating Dublin 8 parks, which can then be exchanged for goods and services from local businesses or gifted to local community organisations.

Civic Dollars is the brainchild of Moai Digital founder Stephen McPeake and has already been successfully rolled out in Belfast. Over 3,000 hours of activity have been registered in participating Belfast parks, with 1,530 Civic Dollars redeemed and 1,043 donated to community groups.


Project Activities

Companies participating in Civic Dollars by offering direct rewards to users include Epic Ireland, The Bike Hub, Mobility Genie, Little Bird Café, Adonis Flower Designers, Bite of Life Café and CBRE Ireland. In addition, users can gift their Civic Dollars to participating community groups and organisations who can exchange these for a range of useful services such as marketing advice, IT consultations, legal consultations, and graphic design work. Participating companies include VAVA Influencers, Little Bird Yoga, Core Tech IT, Paul Saxon Consulting, and Éire Graphic Design.

Community groups participating in Civic Dollars include Warrenmount Community Education Centre near Newmarket, Robert Emmet CDP who supports communities around Bridgefoot Street and Oliver Bond House, Solas Project which has a range of programmes focused on skills for young people, Fatima Groups United, which supports the community of Fatima and Herberton, Focus Ireland, Common Ground, 61st Merchant’s Quay Scouts and Shannon’s HopeLine.

9 parks in Dublin 8 are participating in the pilot: St Audoen’s Park, St Patrick’s Park, Weaver Park, Oscar Square in The Liberties, Grattan Park in Inchicore, The Memorial Gardens, Grand Canal, Turvey Park and St James Linear Park. Some of the parks have seen recent investment by Dublin City Council who aims to roll the scheme out to other parks under its control if it is a success. The Civic Dollars pilot will run for 5 months, and the team are hoping to attract 1,000 users in the first 2 months.

The app does not measure steps or distance that the users accumulate in the park, just the time spent in a zone, ensuing that users with mobility or health issues are not discriminated against and can participate fully.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland said:

“Dublin’s parks are an asset to the city, and during the pandemic many Dubliners have realised the importance of access to green space for recreation and leisure. We need to encourage increased use of our parks, and the Civic Dollars project will do that while having the added benefit of contributing to local businesses and community organisations. Civic Dollars and the wider Smart D8 project are prime examples of community-focused innovation which will improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens.”

The technology used for Civic Dollars is non-invasive and privacy-friendly, by only using GPS data and allowing users to opt in once they enter a park. Data is anonymised, and a user’s session will end automatically once they walk out of the park geo-fence. Data gathered will be used by Dublin City Council to analyse park usage and allow for future planning and infrastructure improvements.


The project goal is to decrease health inequality and help citizens who are not currently active to take part and improve their wellbeing. Since the launch of Civic Dollars, the app has encouraged people to spend more time in parks in Dublin 8. It has also encouraged 43% of people to donate their civic dollars to local charities and community groups. The app has also allowed app users to report issues found around the various parks.

By March 2022, we reported

  • 1,185 app users
  • 1,509 hours of park activity generated
  • 3 issues reported

For more information on Civic Dollars click here.

If you would like to learn hear more about the project or get involved please contact

Smart D8 Launches Way to Wellbeing

Ways to Wellbeing initiative launched to foster Positive Mental Health

Wellbeing initiative to focus on fostering positive mental health and connections among young and older persons

A new intergenerational project, Ways to Wellbeing, which aims to foster local connections and encourage students to learn about wellbeing and mental health from older persons in their community, has launched a pilot phase across six schools in the Dublin 8 area.

Ways to Wellbeing is a project by Walk in My Shoes, the flagship awareness-raising campaign of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, and was produced in collaboration with Smart D8, an initiative that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens in Dublin 8.

Launching on 1 October to coincide with International Day for Older Persons, the project is tailored towards primary and secondary school students and aims to promote positive mental health, wellbeing, and learning through the facilitation of meaningful and rewarding conversations between young and older persons in the community.

Through participating in the project, students will seek to learn the following from the older population in their community:

  • Ways to build and maintain wellbeing
  • How to build resilience
  • An important lesson that made a positive difference to their life.

The pilot phase of the initiative, which will see 306 students taking part, invites participants to interview family members from the Dublin 8 area; write letters to day centres or nursing homes; and utilise a range of mediums, such as podcasts, written stories, film or photography, to create engaging projects that showcase the connections between young and old, and what the students have learned.

To help them get started with their projects, all students, and their teachers, received a Ways to Wellbeing Project Information Pack outlining all the various approaches they can take.

The schools taking part are:

  • Scoil Treasa Naofa,Donore Avenue
  • Griffith Barracks MDS , South Circular Road
  • Scoil Mhuire gan Smál , Inchicore
  • St Enda’s Primary School, Whitefriar Street
  • Presentation Secondary School Warrenmount
  • Christian Brothers Secondary School Synge Street.

Amanda McArdle, Campaign Manager of Walk in My Shoes said: “Walk in My Shoes is delighted to collaborate with Smart D8 to launch this exciting and innovative new project on a pilot basis across schools in the Dublin 8 community. Ways to Wellbeing is an opportunity for younger people to learn about wellbeing and resilience from the diverse experience and expertise of older people, while also promoting positive mental health in the older population through connectivity and inclusion.”

Orla Veale, Lead at Smart D8 said: “Smart D8 is proud to partner with Walk in My Shoes and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services on the Ways to Wellbeing project. We are excited to see how this intergenerational initiative will impact positive mental health and wellbeing within the local community.”

At the end of the pilot, all students’ projects will be added to the Walk in My Shoes School Portal, an online platform that enables school staff to highlight and share what they are doing in their schools, classrooms, and communities to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. A number of winning projects will then be selected and displayed in an exhibition and digital display in St Patrick’s University Hospital, and Dublin 8 over January and February 2022.

Following on from the roll-out of the pilot project in Dublin 8, it is hoped that the initiative will launch in schools across Ireland from early in 2022.

For more information on Ways to Wellbeing click here.