City residents and experts will continue their collaboration on the OmaStadi proposals during the spring through the OmaStadi website and online workshops. Proposals can be opened on the website until 28.2.2021.
In the local workshops organised by the City in January and February, local residents who had submitted ideas met with each other and talked about their ideas and how they could be combined into proposals. All residents who submitted ideas that were selected for further development in the same area were invited to join the workshops. Other local residents interested in co-development were also welcome.
The local workshops were arranged in the form of eight online events, one for each major district of Helsinki. One joint workshop for the entire city was also held. More than 300 residents took part in the evening workshops.
Local workshops serve as idea incubators
“The aspect that pleased me the most about the local workshops was the open atmosphere, which enabled people to express their thoughts, hopes and goals. The workshops showed that the City organisation is genuinely interested in the project ideas of local residents and finds all of the suggestions important – big or small. The Zoom tools also worked well, and the moderators were able to use them effectively and instruct the participants clearly,” describes Sanna Otranen, who took part in the local workshop of the northern major district.
Teacher Petra Ivars and four pupils from Porolahti Comprehensive School took part in the local workshop of the southeastern major district. They submitted a proposal on renovating the Tuhkimo play park located in the Roihuvuori district. Ideas concerning the same park were received from three separate parties.
took part in the local workshop of the southeastern major district
“Although the matter was already important to us, we got even more interested in it after participating in the local workshop. Thanks to the small group, we were able to address our ideas quickly. The adults took the children’s opinions into account. Everyone listened to each other, and we were all of a similar mind,” Ivars says in summary.
You can still get involved in the development of someone else’s idea
Many ideas were clarified and specified, such as expanding the network of winter swimming locations as well as the charter boat service and camping equipment lending service. These ideas will be developed from ideas into proposals for next autumn’s vote. That said, proposals have not yet been submitted for some good ideas. Ideas submitted in last October are passed on for voting only if a proposal is made of them on the OmaStadi website, or if they are attached to another proposal. Anyone can take an idea and begin to develop it into a voteable proposal.
“The local workshops got the co-development of the OmaStadi proposals off to a good start. Local residents who had submitted similar ideas engaged in lively discussion and found ways to combine multiple ideas into a single proposal quite organically. Many working groups intend to get together even after the local workshops. We have also received a lot of comments on the proposals through the website. Cooperation, even if it only takes place online, is a refreshingly social activity in these strange times,” says Kirsi Verkka, Development Manager for the Participation and Citizen Information Unit.
Once the workshops are complete, the co-development will continue on the OmaStadi website, in smaller working groups and at the theme workshops to be held in April. The aim of the theme workshops is to finalise the proposals before cost assessment and voting, together with City experts and local residents. The City experts also comment on the proposals through the website and help residents develop their ideas into proposals that meet the OmaStadi criteria. The theme workshops will not cover all proposals, as the majority of them are finalised through the OmaStadi site.
The proposals can be edited on the OmaStadi website until 30.4.2021.
The City will be organising participation support for residents. The best person to ask about a specific area’s proposals and co-development arrangements is the area’s borough liaison, who can also provide assistance and support for developing a proposal.
OmaStadi is the City of Helsinki’s way of realising participatory budgeting. The second round of the OmaStadi development efforts began in the autumn of 2020. It provided local residents with the opportunity to present ideas on how the City should spend an appropriation of 8.8 million euros. In total, 1,463 ideas were submitted by the deadline. Based on the OmaStadi criteria, 1,150 ideas were selected for further development. The most popular themes were sports and outdoor recreation, parks and nature, built environment and communality. Early in the year, the ideas were developed into proposals online and in local workshops. In the theme workshops scheduled to begin in April, City residents will assist in the finalisation of the proposals. The proposals can be edited on the OmaStadi website until 30.4.2021. After this, cost estimates will be prepared for the proposals. Next autumn will involve selecting the proposals for implementation by means of a vote.
Photo: Kimmo Brandt, City of Helsinki Media Bank.