The voting phase of OmaStadi concluded at the end of October. The number of registered participants was 69,284. The number of voters was 49,705. The voter turnout reached almost eight percent. This was the biggest electronic voting event arranged by the public sector in Finland.
Of the 296 plans that were put up for vote, 44 plans were voted to the implementation phase. The plans that went through in the OmaStadi voting 2019 can be viewed here.
The plans with the most votes according to area:
Southern: Green City 57,000 euros, votes 2052.
Eastern: More cleanliness to eastern Helsinki 113,000 euros, votes 1755.
Southeastern: Report on the renovation of Aino Ackté’s villa 100,000 euros, votes 2727.
Central: Artificial grass pitch on the field next to Arabian peruskoulu 435,000 euros, votes 2870.
Northeastern: Services in support of mobility and well-being for the elderly to northeastern Helsinki 50,000 euros, votes 1182.
Western: Urban fireplaces 120,000 euros, votes 1272.
Northern: Summer jobs and help for summer tasks 83,000 euros, votes 833.
Entire City: More trees to Helsinki 35,000 euros, votes 9234.
“Voting on concrete local projects has brought a new sense of participation to tens of thousands of Helsinkians. Many of the propositions voted for have been about furthering the Most Functional City in the World in practical terms. Thanks to the citizens, we are many steps closer to our strategic goals”, says Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
In Helsinki, the OmaStadi voter turnout was almost eight percent. The voter turnout for the first round of OmaStadi was favourable in international comparison. In other countries, the voter turnout for participatory budgeting even after many rounds has been around 2–10 percent.
OmaStadi got the people of Helsinki to discuss the affairs in areas together
”OmaStadi brought people together and worked as an inspiration to discuss the affairs of the neighbourhoods, and the development of them, in an entirely new way. This has not happened before at the same time on the city level. The seven borough liaisons of the City have done a great job in communicating the message of OmaStadi in their areas and encouraged citizens to make their own proposals and vote”, says Omastadi Development Manager Kirsi Verkka.
The people of Helsinki were committed developers during the first year of participatory budgeting. The total number of proposals submitted was 1,273, of which 839 were accepted. The proposals were worked into 296 plans that were put up for vote.
The voting result was determined according to how many votes each proposal got and which plans could be included in the budget for the area. The first plan chosen for implementation was the one that received the most votes in the area. After that, the focus was laid on the plan with the second most votes and whether it could be included in the remaining budget for the area. If the plan with the second most votes exceeded the remaining appropriation, then the focus was shifted to the plan with the third most votes. If it could be included in the remaining appropriation, then it was chosen for implementation. If not, then the next one was considered. This method made it possible for smaller plans with less votes to advance to the implementation phase.
Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori confirms the voting result by the end of this year. The preparation of the implementation of the plans starts next year. In the Omastadi.hel.fi service, it is possible to follow the preparation and advancements of the implementation of the plans during 2020.
The OmaStadi model for participatory budgeting has come to stay. Next year, Helsinki once again invites the citizens to make proposals into OmaStadi.