The City of Helsinki is the capital city of Finland with approximately 656 000 inhabitants. It seeks to create the best conditions possible for urban life for its residents and for visitors by aiming to be the world’s most functional city. A functional city means concrete actions and choices that make everyday life smoother for residents. Each resident – whether young, old or functionally impaired – has the opportunities to lead a quality and eventful life and to receive the support and services needed for all stages in life.
The City of Helsinki is the capital city of Finland with approximately 656 000 inhabitants. It seeks to create the best conditions possible for urban life for its residents and for visitors by aiming to be the world’s most functional city. A functional city means concrete actions and choices that make everyday life smoother for residents. Each resident – whether young, old or functionally impaired – has the opportunities to lead a quality and eventful life and to receive the support and services needed for all stages in life. A functional city is an advantage especially for ageing people and those in need of help and support.
Challenge for the pilot
The identified challenge in Helsinki was to improve remote services provided by the city among the residents, noting that the covid-19 situation has led to an even higher need for remote exercise services. The need for these services is especially high among the elderly citizens as their exercise levels have dropped due to the limited exercise opportunities created by pandemic restrictions. Hence, the city needs to answer to this demand and further develop the remote exercise services it provides for the citizens. The pilot was aimed at collecting needs and hopes of the elderly citizens on the remote services provided by the city.
How the model for cross-sectoral cooperation benefitted the pilot?
The Model is a useful checklist for building and doing collaboration especially if cross-sectoral collaboration is a new way of working for you or your organisation. It can be applied in a specific case or a task in hand; to look at it through a lense of the task in order to see if there is anything to help you move forward. The Model was most useful for us when starting a closer collaboration with the main partner. The Model was utilized in building a kick-off questionnaire for the main partner to create a more trustful environment and building their commitment to the piloting cooperation.
How did the pilot benefit the life of the residents?
The pilot was implemented as part of Helsinki’s participatory budgeting OmaStadi where city residents can propose ideas as how the city will use 8.8 million euros. To answer the challenge of the lack in remote services, various activities were planned, including preparation, promotion and implementation of three co-creation workshops addressed to elderly residents to recognize their needs and expectations concerning remote exercise services. The outcome could be then utilized in improving the services for everyone.
How was extended reality (XR) used in pilot?
The pilot in Helsinki included two AR-solutions as part of OmaStadi. A multilingual video guide for submitting an idea and a 3D-model for presenting renovation of outdoor sport facilities. The solutions were utilized as a part of the advertising and marketing of the participatory budgeting process as well as providing further information and increasing interest towards the process.
What was the value of having transnational peers in Healthy Boost project?
Peer consultation with Helsinki’s peer city of Poznan was conducted regularly and supported the implementation of the pilot. It enabled discussing the circumstances and challenges in order to help each other out, share good practices and try to solve problems together. The COVID-19 situation in respective cities and its influence to pilot work has naturally been a big topic of the consultation during the period. Both cities have experienced delays and changes due to the situation. Additionally, mutual working sessions were held for questionnaires and reporting as well as discussions for specific topics such as pilot activities and communication if needed.
Images: Helsingin kaupungin aineistopankki / Katja Tahja & Marja Väänänen