Residents and city experts meet to discuss implementation of participatory budgeting projects at Cultural Centre Stoa on 15 May

Kontula shopping centre to become cultural shopping centre and Helsinki’s islands to be more accessible – these and 13 other OmaStadi projects will be discussed at Cultural Centre Stoa on 15 May.
OmaStadi is Helsinki’s participatory budgeting approach that combines the expertise of residents and city experts. Photo: Kimmo Brandt.
OmaStadi is Helsinki’s participatory budgeting approach that combines the expertise of residents and city experts. Photo: Kimmo Brandt.

Residents and city experts will meet at the Cultural Centre Stoa on Wednesday, 15 May, from 17:00 to 19:30 to collaborate on developing the OmaStadi projects. The development event(Link leads to external service) will prepare the projects of Helsinki’s Eastern and South-Eastern major districts for implementation through joint discussions.

“We will discuss the project that will turn the Kontula shopping centre into a cultural shopping centre for all of Helsinki in detail in a small group discussion starting at 17:30. This project received the most votes from schoolchildren throughout Helsinki’s Eastern major district and in Östersundom,” says Borough Liaison Johannes Jauhiainen, who is organising the event.

The successful projects in the Eastern and South-Eastern major areas were those that focused on maritime aspects, sports, local nature and cleanliness.

“For example, the project to improve the amenities of the Herttoniemi metro station received the most votes in the whole city with as many as 1972 votes. In addition, planting insect-pollinated flowering plants – especially berry bushes and fruit trees – was proposed throughout the city, including in the Eastern Major District,” says Kirsi Verkka, Development Manager in charge of OmaStadi.

During this event, you can also visit the pop-up market, where all the projects in Helsinki's Eastern and South-Eastern major districts will be presented. The development event allows residents to share their knowledge of the area. In turn, city experts will bring their knowledge of matters such as various city regulations to the discussion. Joint discussions and planning between residents and experts will ensure that these projects will turn out well.

The event will include a guided activity area for children and a coffee service. Multilingual staff will also be available to assist. 

OmaStadi allows residents to think outside the box

“With EUR 8.8 million earmarked, OmaStadi gives residents a clear mandate to make an impact. It makes it possible for the city to look how its residents want it to,” says Anne Nissinen, Participation Manager.

Participatory budgeting is an established practice in Helsinki. It inspires residents to participate and have an impact. In the third round of OmaStadi, which is currently underway, EUR 8.8 million will be used to implement projects proposed and voted on by residents.

Helsinki began looking for new ways to involve residents in 2016. The city wanted to give its residents a stronger say in budget planning and decision-making. The aim was to strengthen local participation and highlight the wishes and needs of residents in the various city districts.