The themes and objectives of the participation and interaction model are implemented by the City of Helsinki through dozens of different modes of operation. You can find information about concrete methods and services on these pages.
Since the spring of 2018, each major district has had its own borough liaison, who helps residents find the right influencing channels in Helsinki. The borough liaisons provide information, guidance and advice regarding participation and influencing opportunities, as well as matters related to participatory budgeting.
The borough liaisons support co-operation between operators in residential areas and organise events such as the mayor’s resident evenings. The borough liaisons develop and implement participatory budgeting in co-operation with the City’s divisions and ensure that participatory budgeting is implemented in an equal manner. More information about the borough liaisons and their contact information.
In the autumn of 2018, the City of Helsinki appointed three business liaisons to accompany its borough liaisons. The business liaisons are distributed across Helsinki, chart the needs of businesses and find solutions to them. The business liaisons help the City have a better understanding of businesses’ everyday operations while also enabling businesses to find the right co-operation partners among the City’s operators more easily. The business liaisons’ goal is to contribute to making Helsinki the most business-positive city in Finland in accordance with the City Strategy. More information about the business liaisons (in Finnish).
Helsinki is a global forerunner in opening its data and decision-making. Open data promotes transparency in decision-making, participation and trust in the City’s operations.
Open data refers to data accumulated by public administration bodies, organisations, businesses or private persons that has been opened to be freely utilised by anyone interested, free of charge. Open data improves the transparency of the City’s operations, the monitorability of its decision-making and access to its services, and it promotes the creation of new, innovative services by opening more data and software interfaces for everyone to use. The City’s documents and other information materials are available for residents and businesses to openly use and utilise. Read about the open data service and contents: Helsinki region info share.
Digital participation services provide residents with seamless participation and influencing that is independent of time and place.
Over the course of the past decade, the City has developed various electronic service and participation channels, such as KerroKantasi and aCity-wide feedback channel. Additionally, the divisions have piloted and introduced various digital participation tools, such as map-based survey tools and brainstorming and innovation tools.
In order to promote the openness of administration and decision-making, the decisions of the City’s decision-making bodies accessible in the AHJO case management system are published through an open interface. The Päätökset service (in Finnish) can be used to browse matters brought up in the City’s administration and their processing by different decision-making bodies. The OmaStadi service for participatory budgeting was introduced in 2018.
In the Kerrokantasi.hel.fi service, municipality residents can share their opinions and be heard on various matters that are about to be or being prepared. You can find more information about utilising the Kerrokantasi service on the method page.
The City’s facilities must be available more extensively than they currently are to support resident and community activities more and promote co-operation in different city districts. Making the facilities more readily available was among the most common themes in the hearings related to the preparations for the participation model.
Various trials related to more flexible facility use have been carried out to open the use of public facilities. For example, with the Varaamo service, residents can reserve the City’s public work stations and equipment for their own use. The goal of the Varaamo service is to make the use of public facilities more efficient, improve their accessibility and unify the reservation practices.
OmaStadi is the City of Helsinki’s way of providing participatory budgeting services. Helsinki has allocated 8.8 million euros to realising residents’ wishes. The ideas are developed together into proposals that Helsinki residents can vote on. The proposals with the most votes are realised by the City.
The OmaStadi process was carried out in Helsinki for the first time in 2018–2019. OmaStadi starts with a brainstorming stage, in which anyone can propose uses for the funds. In the joint development stage, ideas are made into plans together with the proposers and City experts. Finally, every Helsinki resident turning 12 in the voting year and older can vote on the plans. The plans with the most votes are realised by the City.
You can find more information on the OmaStadi platform, where you can also find all the budgeting stages.
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. RuutiBudjetti is part of the City of Helsinki’s budget.
Voting on RuutiBudjetti was carried out in the autumn of 2021 on its own platform.
The City’s divisions realise and monitor participation in their own operations in accordance with shared principles and the City Strategy. Providing clients with participation and influencing opportunities pertaining to their own services is at the core of participation, and promoting participation is a key part of the divisions’ work. As part of the participation model, each division has created its own participation plan for 2018–2021 and reports to the Council on its implementation. Divisional participation work is under the responsibility of the deputy mayor.
The City of Helsinki provides opportunities for a wide variety of volunteer work across the city. Co-ordination of volunteer activities has been centred at the Culture and Leisure Division. The goal is to open up more volunteer activity opportunities in the City organisation and provide information about them in a centred manner.
Shared operating models, the staff’s know-how and multichannel communication have been developed and the volunteer activity path has been clarified in 2018–2019. A new digital platform that compiles the volunteer activity opportunities available is being developed. The goal of the platform is to improve the availability of volunteer activity opportunities provided by the City and the organisation sector alike.
The City of Helsinki features the following influencer bodies prescribed in the Local Government Act: the Council of the Elderly, the Council on Disability and the Youth Council. The operational term of the Council of the Elderly and the Council on Disability is one council period of office, and the Youth Council is appointed every year. The councils’ expertise and know-how is utilised actively in the City’s operations, by means such as requesting statements on plans from them.
In addition to the councils, the City features a Gender Equality Commission and a Non-Discrimination Commission, whose duty is to promote the realisation of equality and non-discrimination in all of the City’s operations and services, as well as a Bilingualism Committee.
The duties of the Bilingualism Committee appointed by the City include monitoring and assessing how the needs of Finnish and Swedish-language groups are met in terms of language in the City’s services and among the City’s staff, and processing the systematic promotion of bilingualism in the City’s operations.
City employees serving as presenters and secretaries of the influencer bodies are experts in the subject, and their duty is to promote equal participation in the City’s services in different ways.
Appointed in an annual 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 operations of the City’s different divisions. The Youth Council is part of Helsinki’s young people’s influence system Ruuti. Members of the Youth Council have an attendance and speech right in all of the City of Helsinki’s division committees. More information about the Youth Council.
The Council of the Elderly monitors the City’s operation from the perspective of senior citizens. The goal is to promote the consideration of elderly people’s perspective and equality in Helsinki. The Council’s operations build co-operation between the City of Helsinki and senior citizen organisations. At least once a year, the Council calls a meeting between representatives of senior citizen organisations operating in the Helsinki area.
The Council on Disability serves as an advisory co-operation body for disabled persons, different disability organisations and the City’s representatives. The Council ensures participation and influencing opportunities for disabled persons. In the Council, representatives of disability organisations, the City’s officials and trustees process matters pertaining to disabled municipality residents and seek workable solutions for an accessible and more equal and non-discriminatory society.