Illustration: Minna Alanko.

Helsinkians to vote for more than 300 OmaStadi plans for participatory budgeting

The preparatory work that was launched jointly with the Helsinkians at the end of 2018 has been completed save the voting.

The preparatory stage of the participatory budgeting proposals has been completed.

Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori has confirmed the list of OmaStadi budget proposals that advance to voting based on development work that has been carried out jointly by the residents and by municipal experts.
“Helsinki is the first city in the world to have extended participatory budgeting to such large swaths of the municipal divisions. We are pioneers also due to the fact that we enable even 12-year-olds to vote for the proposals. To enable participation and doing-it-yourself is an essential part of Helsinki”, asserts Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.

In October, the Helsinkians will have the chance to vote for the proposals that are to advance to implementation. The voting will take place using the platform. To be able to vote you are required to provide strong electronic identification by means of mobile ID or banking codes. Those who are unable to use electronic identification may vote at libraries, resident houses and the comprehensive service centres. That being the case, you may use your ID card or passport to identify yourself.

The Helsinkians were in the autumn of 2018 invited for the first time to brainstorm about what to do with 4.4 million euros. The City received almost 1,300 submissions out of which a little more than 800 were deemed viable. Last spring, the inhabitants and experts from the municipality worked together at OmaStadi Raksa workshops and via the platform to refine the ideas and turn them into plans. During the summer, price tags were calculated for the plans. As a result of the joint planning, more than 300 plans were drawn up and estimates of the implementation costs were issued.

OmaStadi plans include increasing the number of parks, sports and hobby venues, communal premises and events

The plans that are put forward to a vote represent the Helsinkians’ ideas from A to Z. Most plans involved improving the city environment, such as increasing the number of outdoor sports venues and refurbishing parks and beach areas. Plans were also made for communal resident venues and the joint use of venues in various parts of the city.

“The first season of participatory budgeting has been one of learning and experimenting new things, as always is the case when doing something for the first time. It has been inspiring to learn how committed people have been to the process”, says Kirsi Verkka, who is head of development.

After the vote, the City will start implementing the ideas that were successful among the voters. The city residents will also be invited to participate in the preparation and the actual execution of the plans that are to be implemented.

Further info:

OmaStadi site

Participation and Interaction Model 

The Mayor’s resolutions