“Is there a free jazz gig tonight?” “If there’s one museum I should see, which one?” “How many kisses do you give?” Those are the questions that USE-IT answers. USE-IT is made by locals, not commercial and free.
Brussels, Belgium, Europe
• Young travellers don’t go for glossy brochures. They want to meet the locals and get honest info instead of city marketing.
• Europe needs initiatives that are truly bottom-up instead of top-down. Our network does not decide where a new USE-IT will start. The magic only happens when local volunteers take the lead.
• Unknown cities can be truly promoted in a European network like this. Besides this, famous cities benefit from the sustainable kind of travel that USE-IT promotes, outside of the tourist centre.
• Learning about local culture will increase tolerance and cohesion. These are often just hollow words, but for USE-IT they are a continuous backdrop for what we do. Just read the “Act Like a Local” section on any map to see what we mean.
1. Today, USE-IT maps are printed on paper and distributed in hostels and tourist infos. That’s not enough, because not everybody passes by one of these points. In a year’s time, young travellers should be able to access the same info in different ways through technological innovation.
2. Our non-commercial policy is our strength but also our weakness. Local volunteers have to look for funding. Since they are not marketeers, they often don’t succeed. Our network is growing, but sadly we also lose cities every year because they did not have the tools to convince local authorities. USE-IT will remain volunteer-driven and we will not spend this project money on printing maps. What we need is tools that help ALL members to survive.
TARGET 1: MULTIPLY USER NUMBERS
• Develop the Android app for all cities (iOS has been crowdfunded already and will be released in April).
• Create a user-friendly design for www.use-it.travel with a more dynamic content.
• Have 50 cities in the network by the end of 2016.
TARGET 2: BUILD A STRONGER NETWORK
• A USE-IT Europe meeting in Brussels with one participant from every city.
• Tools that will help local initiatives to survive, such as a startup guide and a digital impact survey that shows the real impact of the project for local municipalities.
• An online startup platform for people who want to start their own USE-IT.
• Further research into Openstreetmaps (the worldwide crowdsourced street map) for offline use.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
• Have you successfully worked with a network of volunteers? • Are you experienced in using open source digital tools such as OpenStreetMaps? • Do you want to start USE-IT in your own city? • If yes, and you support our non-commercial principles, we’ll see how we can cooperate! firstname.lastname@example.org