A year ago, Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori launched the idea of a brainstorming platform for all Helsinkians, which would be carried out through the Most Functional City in the World website.

The Most Functional City in the World website was open during the beginning of the year and more than 400 ideas were submitted. A working group of city experts went through the proposals and made a pre-selection

– The experiment was pleasant and there was an abundance of ideas. In the service, we were especially looking for neat improvements to everyday life and there were plenty of such ideas. We have good feedback channels for reporting different kinds of flaws, but coming up with new ideas is worth encouraging as well, says Vapaavuori.

In June, it was two years since Jan Vapaavuori started as Mayor of Helsinki.

– Helsinki is a positively active city, whose residents like to engage in the brainstorming of new events and participate in the development of the City. This is a great resource. Helsinki becomes more enjoyable and the world’s most functional city only together with the citizens, says Vapaavuori.

A more service-minded and active Helsinki wanted by many

Many good ideas were concerned with a more service-minded Helsinki. Over the years, the services have become bloated with bulky features that waste the time of customers and city employees alike.

 “The ordering of the Laakso hospital service voucher could be made into an e-service. The customer receives a letter in the mail when the referral has arrived. If the customer wants a service voucher, he or she must call the number mentioned in the letter on Tuesday or Thursday 9am-11am or 12noon-2pm and ask for the creation of an electronic service voucher. The electronic service voucher with a customer number is sent to the customer in the mail on paper, whereupon the customer can announce the customer number to the service provider in order to be able to book an appointment. The entire process could be taken care of electronically in a minute."

There were a lot of other thoughts on making services electronic and on embracing the digital age as well. The City’s new digitalisation programme with its executive groups is solving these challenges.

Other popular ideas were the ones aimed at making the urban space more pleasant and active. Other wishes included livelier market squares, more litter bins in the entire City and higher park benches. The signage and the removal of high setts and especially the winter maintenance of pedestrian routes gained a lot of support.

Ideas, which were outside the City's powers or deemed too extensive or inconsistent with valid decisions or the City Strategy, were discarded at the beginning of the evaluation process.

The next stage with more detailed considerations comprises 41 ideas, some of which are concerned with the same topic. The viable ideas will be introduced in the City’s different services. A list of the ideas is here.  

Read more

Ideas selected for the next stage (in Finnish)

The Most Functional City in the World video (in Finnish)

The World’s Most Functional City website

The Most Functional City in the World – Helsinki City Strategy 2017–2021