Ongoing development

Resident- and client-orientation is one of the values of the City of Espoo. The client’s experience also holds great weight in our service development work because we develop the services for the end user, in particular.

On this page, we describe the development projects that we are working on right now.

Last mile project: Increasing the accessibility of Nuuksio and Rantaraitti

Cyclists in Nuuksio

The City of Espoo’s marketing company Espoo Marketing Oy is currently developing the accessibility of two of Espoo’s central nature locations, Nuuksio National Park and Rantaraitti, in its Last mile project. Cooperation with various companies plays a vital role in the project.

For the part of Nuuksio, the goal is to

  • find an economically viable and sustainable solution for bringing tourists and people residing in the Helsinki metropolitan area from Helsinki city centre to the national park.
  • come up with a solution to the congestion of the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia’s surroundings that could later be adapted to the other entrance routes of the national park.

For the part of Rantaraitti, the goal is to

  • facilitate people’s access from the metro stations to the seaside and the services of Rantaraitti, for example, by adding signs and increasing pedestrian traffic routes as, at its longest, the distance from an Espoo metro station to Rantaraitti is only 1.5 kilometres.
  • develop together with the city and a network of entrepreneurs the marketing of Rantaraitti and its services as well as their locatability.

Schedule

  • Workshops on solutions for Nuuksio have been organised over the spring 2018. The first pilot projects to improve Nuuksio’s accessibility will begin in the summer. Businesses will also have the opportunity to continue piloting solutions in the summer of 2019.
  • In the spring and summer 2018, we will cooperate with Metropolia University of Applied Sciences to conduct a survey on the Waterfront Walkway. The survey will be directed to businesses and Walkway users. In the autumn, the results of the survey will be discussed with the aim of improving the Walkway’s accessibility.

We will post information on workshops that are open to companies and municipal residents on the Twitter and Facebook accounts of Espoo Innovation Garden and the City of Espoo and also online at the Developing Espoo website under How can I participate?

The Espoo sub-project is a part of a larger 6Aika Last mile project entity, which includes, among other operators, the Cities of Helsinki and Espoo.

Contact person: Karoliina Korpela, karoliina.korpela@espoo.fi 

6Aika in Espoo

City as a Service by means of innovative procurement

The child builds objects from the sticks

The City of Espoo is taking the next step towards a digital city in a project where the City as a Service concept is developed by means of innovative procurement.  

The City as a Service concept is based on the idea that the raison d'être of cities is to serve residents, companies and communities. Urban development is based on service, flexibility and accessibility as well as networked sharing and utilisation of resources. 

City as a Service experiments have been conducted in Espoo before, such as School as a Service (SaaS) and Mobility as a Service. In the current project, a digital platform for implementation of solutions based on the City as a Service concept is developed in cooperation with companies.  

The first objects for application are facilities; management and flexible use. The aim is to find new solutions for cost-efficient management of facilities. 

First, an overview is made on operating models based on service-based logic around the world and on how such models could be deployed in Espoo. The project also considers the risks of different models and how to ensure effectiveness.  

Before the digital platform is built, experiments are carried out. The first is an application of the SaaS model in Matinkylä. The other experiments will be specified later.  

The project will use new, innovative means of public procurement when acquiring new, not widespread kinds of products and services. The city’s new operating methods will generate new, innovative business potential for companies. The City as a Service concept is strongly based on networking and companies play a major role. 

The project is funded with Business Finland’s funds for innovative procurement aimed at improving public procurement.  

The project will last until the end of 2020.  

Contact persons: Päivi Sutinen, paivi.sutinen@espoo.fi and Veera Vihula, veera.vihula@espoo.fi 

Smart learning environments for the future

Two boys using the smartboard

The City of Espoo’s Education and Cultural Services are carrying out trials to create and develop innovations that generate deep learning and the joy of learning as well as sustainable and smart learning environments. Good practices established earlier are promoted and disseminated for more extensive application.

We are working together with companies developing new business as well as research and training organisations. Innovations are created through trials in accordance with the principles of co-creation.

Co-creation is a learning experience for all participants: companies, local learners, the city and research and training organisations. By trying out various solutions, we generate new expertise regarding learning environments, new services, products and technologies. For the partners, the collaboration creates new development networks and strengthens the conditions for business and research and training activities.

Companies that have signed up for the development work are informed of upcoming workshops. The project constantly welcomes new companies interested in the co-creation of smart learning environments for a sustainable future together with the city, other companies and research and training organisations.

Espoo’s development project is part of the Six City Strategy (6Aika) umbrella project for smart learning environments for the future, which also involves other 6Aika cities. The project will continue until April 2020.

Contact persons: Meri Vainio, meri.vainio@espoo.fi, och Maiju Haltia-Nurmi, maiju.haltia-nurmi@espoo.fi

6Aika in Espoo

Growth ecosystems as enablers of company growth

Cleantech ja värikkäitä lankoja

The City of Espoo is supporting business growth by participating in the 6Aika – Ecosystems of Growth project. A joint effort by the six largest cities in Finland, the project has been divided into three work packages. The City of Espoo is responsible for package number two.

  1. Stimulation of innovation activity (strengthening innovation clusters, new/improved service paths for companies)
     
  2. Information about companies for companies
     
  3. Networks strengthening innovation clusters

The growth of companies is important to companies and cities alike. The Ecosystems of Growth project is targeted at companies that can and want to grow. The project has the following goals:

  • Supporting closer cooperation between companies and cooperation with RDI organisations
  • Providing growth-oriented companies with more information about the ecosystems and business growth programmes and services that already exist in Espoo

Cities can enable and support the growth of companies by creating multi-faceted networks through which various organisations affect each other. The project is not targeted at pre-selected companies. Instead, it focuses on ecosystems where new companies are born and grow, ecosystems that will continue operating after the project ends.

In Espoo, the focal points of this work are Espoo’s emerging artificial intelligence (AI) cluster and the Cleantech Garden cluster that includes the Smart Otaniemi cluster.

The city aims to create two new information services that help companies grow:

  1. Dashboard, a service that visualises open data sources in a digital format, supporting business activities.
     
  2. A service centre for business life as an innovation platform (Business Espoo), a concept that makes it possible to inform companies about materials, information sources and services that enhance their innovation activities.

Espoo’s work is part of a larger set of projects called 6Aika – Ecosystems of Growth. Other participants include the Cities of Helsinki, Vantaa and Oulu, Turku Business Region Oy, Business Oulu, Business Tampere and the Council of Tampere Region. The project began on 1 August 2018 and will continue until the end of 2020.

Contact person: Katja Hagman, katja.m.hagman@espoo.fi

6Aika in Espoo

Digipore

Computer code viewIn its DigiPore subproject, the City of Espoo promotes the employment of software designers in businesses. DigiPore responds to the labour shortage in the IT field by updating the professional skills of experts in the field through a six-month coaching programme.

Jobseeker customers may participate in a three-month coding training programme tailored according to the needs of companies, after which the competence acquired in the training will be deepened during a three-month orientation period in a company selected for each coder.

The target group of the project includes

  • highly educated people with an immigrant background
  • long-term unemployed IT professionals
  • older long-term unemployed people
  • self-taught coders
  • spouses of international experts

You can apply for free training if you

  • have an IT background that needs to be updated
  • are an unemployed jobseeker residing in Espoo
  • are familiar with the fundamentals of programming and interested in a career in coding

DigiPore is a joint 6Aika project of the six biggest cities in Finland – Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku and Oulu. The objective is to create new initiatives to reduce the shortage of ICT experts by, for example, offering different training courses in each city and providing people with opportunities to show their competence in the labour market. The project is implemented in close cooperation with companies operating in the field.

Contact person: Virve Hutchinson, virve.hutchinson@espoo.fi

DigiPore project

6Aika in Espoo

Energy Wise Cities

Caretaker at workThe Premises Department public utility of the City of Espoo is developing a two-way platform for sharing energy information in the EU-funded Energy Wise Cities project. The Espoo subproject focuses on the energy use of service buildings, such as schools, day-care centres, health centres, offices and sports buildings.

It will be determined how energy management of buildings could be carried out using the alliance model. This means that the Energy Wise Cities project is looking for companies to produce the circumstances for service buildings as a service. Circumstances refer to quality indoor air and energy and cost-effective lighting suitable for the building.

The Espoo subproject will also pilot flexible heat consumption, in which energy consumption is reduced when production is experiencing emission-production peaks.

Espoo’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 also extends to city residents’ homes. A resident survey and an interactive resident event are being planned in order to determine what kind of support residents need from the city. For example, incentives are being planned for those living in detached houses to give up the use of fossil fuels in heating.

The Espoo subproject is part of the larger 6Aika Energy Wise Cities project, in which the cities of Tampere, Turku, Helsinki, Oulu and Vantaa also participate. The overall solution of the project will also determine what an energy wise city of the future could be like in terms of energy management. The project will continue until December 2020.

Contact person: Timo Vepsäläinen, timo.vepsalainen@espoo.fi

Energy Wise Cities project site

Twitter: @energiaviisaat #energiaviisaat

Facebook: Energiaviisas rakennettu ympäristö (Energy wise built environment) group

6Aika in Espoo

DuuniPolku (Job Pathways Finland)

Duunipolku, Duunipolku

The City of Espoo and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences are developing a new kind of model and service to help people from immigrant backgrounds get a foothold in working life, gain information about entrepreneurship and test their business ideas.

The aim is to support especially the kind of entrepreneurship that leverages the multicultural competence of these people, and to create opportunities for them to network with other entrepreneurs and be mentored by experienced entrepreneurs.

The long-term goal is to support export-oriented entrepreneurship, for example to developing countries.

  • The DuuniPolku project (Job Pathways Finland) is a collaboration of the City of Espoo and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences:
  • The City of Espoo is responsible for building a network of mentors and entrepreneurs and developing the operating model.

Metropolia is designing and developing a training module to support the multi-professional entrepreneurship of young people from immigrant backgrounds.

Espoo’s project is a part of the 6Aika DuuniPolku project set, which also involves other 6Aika cities and their universities of applied sciences. The project will last until autumn 2019. Information about its progress will be distributed through the project’s Twitter account and the City of Espoo’s website and social media channels.

Contact persons:

DuuniPolku Project (in Finnish)

6Aika in Espoo

Active NGOs – Wings to empower Citizens -

Good Practice Transfer Network “ACTive NGOs” starts its two-year journey

At the end of 2018 six European cities got involved in the project “NGO House as the key and the platform for cooperation of the city non-governmental organisations and the municipality” (ACTive NGOs), a two-year journey of mutual exchange of knowledge and experience. Riga (Latvia) as the lead partner will cooperate with five European cities – Syracuse (Italy), Santa Pola (Spain), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Espoo (Finland) and Brighton (United Kingdom).

In 2017 Riga NGO House received Good Practice status of URBACT programme. Riga NGO House has been recognised as model of efficient cooperation between municipality and non-governmental organisations and was recommended as the example to learn from by other cities. Thanks to this recognition Riga took the leading role of the project to help other European cities to transfer good practice of NGO House and to spread the idea of such institution both in the project’s partner cities and beyond.

More and more European cities are trying to find ways to promote active civic engagement. The participation and involvement of citizens is crucial for such a model of urban governance. Therefore, one of the major tasks of the administrations of European cities is to encourage their citizens to become civically engaged, share and select priorities jointly with their citizens, as well as motivate citizens to put forward proposals and initiatives on a wide range of issues for common solutions. The success of city administrations is to a large extent based on the ability to engage its citizens and the non-governmental sector, and to support NGOs, social communities and movements for the development of the city.

The support platform created in Riga - Riga NGO House is one of the ways how the municipality works on the solutions of this problem. Non-governmental organisations are valuable assistants for cooperation with grassroots and they can also become important partners of any municipality. Mutual process of learning is foreseen during the project: Riga will focus not only on sharing its experience with other cities but will also learn from other municipalities in order to acquire knowledge about cooperation models between municipalities and non-governmental organisations elsewhere

ACTive NGOs is the good practice and transfer network of cities aimed at developing and improving cooperation models between NGOs and municipalities and sharing the example of support platform for NGOs - NGO House of Riga to other European municipalities.

Activities aimed at networking, exchange of experience and sharing of knowledge both on local and international level are the cornerstone of the URBACT programme. The main activities of the project will be transnational exchange and learning seminars, which will be focused on the topics relevant both for municipalities and NGOs and during which the situation of host municipality will be explored in-depth. URBACT local groups will operate in all project partners’ cities helping municipalities to analyse local situations and to transfer the ideas of Riga in their local reality. Transfer plans will be elaborated by the partners of the project and an Improvement plan will be developed by the Good Practice city. Transfer diaries will help to capture milestones of local learning experiences and short videos will depict project partners’ experience during the transfer journey. As the result of the project a Handbook with overview and practical examples of all dimensions of Good Practice and its transfer will be elaborated and it will serve as a tool for other cities to transfer the Good Practice of Riga to other municipalities.

This project has been co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund within the framework of the URBACT III Operational Programme.

Information about the project is available at https://urbact.eu/active-ngos

Follow the activities of the project: /Facebook: ACTiveNGOs / Twitter: @ACTive NGOs /Instagram:  active.ngos

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