Would you like to participate in and influence the City of Helsinki’s operations, but do not know how? Or would you like to find new ways to accompany familiar ones? On this page, you can find a diverse compilation of different ways to participate at different levels in Helsinki. For example, you can find more information about interesting subjects or take active part in development processes.
Discover concrete ways you can participate and choose the one that suits you best!
Some of the contents behind the links are in Finnish only.
The Participation Newsletter provides up-to-date information about the City of Helsinki’s extensive participation work and common phenomena in the field in Finnish. You can also subscribe to the Plan Watch service, which monitors Helsinki’s planning and traffic planning on your behalf and notifies you by e-mail when a plan has been published for you to give feedback on.
The Urban Environment Division is in charge of planning, building and maintaining Helsinki’s urban environment, as well as the City’s building control and environmental services. Keep up to date on the Division’s affairs on Facebook or Instagram. The Urban Environment Division’s popular Twitter page provides information about the Division’s affairs with a touch of humour.
The Social Services and Health Care Division provides information about its current affairs on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. You can also check out a list of all of the social media channels for the services of the Social Services and Health Care Division and select those that interest you.
Most of the content is in Finnish only.
The Helsinki Region Infoshare service is an open data service provided jointly by the Cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen (in Finnish only). The service provides information about the cities of the metropolitan area and the entire region to be utilised freely and free of charge, e.g. statistical information concerning the population, economy and well-being of the region.
Meetings of the City Council are public unless otherwise decided by the Council regarding a specific matter. You can watch live streams or recordings of meetings via the Helsinki Channel service or attend meetings in person in a designated area in the Council’s chamber (in Finnish only).
Read about the City of Helsinki’s political decisions and news from the City in the hel.fi news section. The City also publishes a monthly sign language compilation of current matters on the Helsinki Channel (in Finnish only).
You can use the City of Helsinki’s feedback channel to send your praise, criticisms or development suggestions. We aim to reply to your submission within five weekdays.
Offices of the Social Services and Health Care Division in particular, as well as other offices of the City, feature feedback boxes that you can use to give feedback. Many offices also feature quick feedback devices that you can use to give smiley feedback on the service you received.
Participate in the development of the City and share your opinion on matters to be and currently being prepared. See all open surveys in the KerroKantasi service (most of the contents in Finnish only).
The hel.fi ‘Current plans’ page compiles participation and assessment plans, plan drafts and plan proposals that are on display and can be influenced right now (in Finnish only). You can assess projects and share your opinion at the different planning stages. You can send a letter or e-mail, attend events or online discussions or contact the planner directly. In the plan proposal stage, residents of the municipality can submit a written reminder regarding a plan proposal, which must arrive at the registrar’s office within the deadline given. More information on participating in planning.
The City has seven borough liaisons operating in their designated city districts. You can turn to the borough liaison for advice or information on matters such as participation opportunities. You can receive information about events, news and participation opportunities in your area by following the designated borough liaison on Facebook. More information about the borough liaisons and their contact information.
The business liaisons increase dialogue and co-operation between the City and businesses, are distributed across Helsinki, chart the needs of businesses and find solutions to these needs. More information about the business liaisons and their contact information (in Finnish only).
You can contact a community worker of the Social Services and Health Care Division if you want to improve the pleasantness, safety or well-being of an area (in Finnish only). The community worker can help you take proposals forward in the networks of the area, in a regional working group of officials or on regional forums.
Helsinki’s community centres are open to all, serving as living rooms and gathering spaces for residents and hosting a variety of events. Local residents and associations can rent these facilities for their own use in evenings and at weekends.
At resident evenings, residents and the City’s experts from different fields discuss current matters and the future of the area. The residents of the area are sent an invitation to resident evenings by post. See information about upcoming mayor’s resident evenings and watch recordings of past evenings (in Finnish only).
Local resident evenings are also held regarding current matters. You can find current events on this website’s event calendar.
The social guidance chat service provides you with advice and guidance regarding social services and applying for benefits. The service is available on Mondays and from Wednesday to Friday at 9.00–14.30 and on Tuesdays at 12.00–14.30.
Ask anything in Kysy.fi, and the City Library will answer. You can also answer questions from others.
In accordance with the Local Government Act, Helsinki residents can create initiatives related to the operations of the City of Helsinki. The easiest way to do so is to use the Kuntalaisaloite.fi online service (in Finnish and Swedish only). The creator of an initiative is notified of the actions resulting from the initiative. At least once a year, the City Council is informed of such initiatives created by residents and the actions resulting from these initiatives. You can also submit an initiative directly to the registrar’s office by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post. See the address of the registrar’s office and more information on initiatives.
Young people (ages 13–17) are provided with their own initiative channel, through which they can submit development ideas in a convenient manner (in Finnish only).
Councillors of municipal councils are selected every four years in municipal elections. The next municipal election will be held in 2021. You can influence the City’s decisions in the coming years by voting or becoming a candidate yourself. More information on the election and the right to vote. You can also make a difference by supporting a candidate or campaigning for a cause important to you on social media, in your networks and in editorials, for example.
Appointed in an election, Helsinki Youth Council is a 30-person influencer group of Helsinki residents aged 13–17. The Council ensures that young people are heard in Helsinki’s decision-making and in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the City’s operations. The next Youth Council election will be held in the autumn of 2021. You can become a candidate yourself, vote at a school or a youth centre, or campaign to support a candidate.
Anyone dissatisfied with a decision by a municipal board, a municipal committee, a division of a board or committee, or an authority representing any of the said bodies can appeal the decision in writing. The appeal should be addressed directly to the body responsible for the decision. A decision by a city council is appealed to an administrative court with a municipal complaint. An appeal and a municipal complaint can be made by a party concerned, that is, by a party affected by the decision or a party whose rights, responsibilities or interests are directly affected by the decision, and by a resident of the municipality.
An administrative complaint refers to a report filed with a senior authority or an authority tasked with ensuring general lawfulness administration (Chancellor of Justice of the Government, Parliamentary Ombudsman) stating that there has been a flawed act in office. An administrative complaint can be made by any citizen. More information on appealing for a change to a decision.
If you are a client or patient of social and health care services and you are dissatisfied with the service, care or treatment you have received, or you need advice regarding your rights, you can contact a social and patient representative. The social and patient representative can also be contacted by the families of and people close to clients and patients, residents of the municipality and co-operation parties acting on patients’ behalf. More information and contact information of the social and patient representatives.
The City of Helsinki’s highest decision-making bodies are the City Council, the City Board and the City’s committees. You can read their initiative, meeting and decision documents electronically. You can contact the councillors regarding any matters you wish to influence. Information of the city councillors.
Each of the City’s four divisions has a 13-member committee and 1–3 subdivisions. Enterprise boards and the rescue committee operate under the central administration and the divisions. More information on the committees and boards and their decision documents.
Helsinki’s goal is to be an equal and non-discriminating city that is functional and pleasant for all residents. Councils and committees are one important channel for influencing decision-making and a better everyday life. You can contact members of the Elderly Citizens Council, the Council on Disability, the Gender Equality Commission and the Non-Discrimination Commission in any matters related their themes. You can find the contact information of all of the above and more information about their themes on the Human Rights in Helsinki webpages.
OmaStadi is Helsinki’s way of providing participatory budgeting services. In participatory budgeting, the City opens a budget of 8.8 million euros per OmaStadi round to implement the residents’ ideas. The OmaStadi process was carried out in Helsinki for the first time in 2018–2019, and the proposals have now been voted on. New round began in October 2020.
RuutiBudjetti is a participatory budgeting model in which decisions on young people’s leisure time activities and services are made together with young people. In RuutiBudjetti, ideas are collected and refined regionally and in several stages in order for as many young people as possible to have an opportunity to influence the development of leisure time activities, hobby opportunities and their own environment. Voting on RuutiBudjetti was carried out in the autumn of 2021. More information on RuutiBudjetti.
As a friend of the Helsinki City Museum, you can take part in the museum’s work and share your knowledge about the museum operations. The association provides its members the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the history of Helsinki and the surrounding areas by arranging presentation and discussion events as well as trips and visits guided by experts to various locations, including places which are not commonly open to the public. The Helsinki City Museum also offers a variety of opportunities for volunteer work.
Pro Filharmonia ry serves as a link to the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) and concert audiences, as well as a chance to widen people’s knowledge of classical music. The association’s operations also help the orchestra to achieve its own goals as an internationally renowned first-class orchestra. You can become a member on the association’s website (mostly in Finnish only).
Volunteer activities provide you with meaningful projects and memorable experiences. The City of Helsinki provides plenty of activities that do not require a long-term commitment and in which you can be involved in a way that suits your own opportunities and life situation. Read about volunteer activity opportunities on their new pages. For example, you can become a Park Pal – a volunteer working in green spaces, or organise a communal work event. Volunteers can work at youth centres, in Child Welfare Services or as Cultural Pals, for example.
Resident participation grants are awarded for maintaining and coordinating residential buildings, and for developing resident participation. The grants include a general grant and an operating grant, which can be applied for once a year, and a small grant that can be applied for all year round (information in Finnish only).
Grants for sports are awarded every year for Helsinki-based sports societies and for sports activities for senior citizens and special groups. Helsinki supports the City’s arts and culture by awarding arts and culture grants for permanent or project-based activities, as well as development grants for 1–3-year projects. You can find details of all of the City’s grants and their application periods for 2020 in the grant announcement (only in Finnish).
Youth Services provide Helsinki-based youth activity groups with a variety of help and support, such as Sponssi operational funds for youth groups, reservations at youth facilities and camp centres, light and sound equipment or camping equipment for borrowing and training courses for organising events. See also the different forms of assistance and their application instructions.
You can use the Varaamo service to make reservations at a variety of facilities for meetings or events, for example, as well as for devices, such as a 3D printer or a sewing machine for your personal use. You can also apply to make reservations at sports service facilities.