My Espoo on the Map: residents’ development ideas

In the My Espoo on the Map survey, Espoo residents expressed their views on what their hometown looks and feels like in their everyday lives. Around 6,600 Espoo residents responded to the survey carried out in the autumn. They marked nearly 70,000 places and development ideas important to them on a digital map.
The examination of the extensive material will continue for a long time. Each response will be processed, and the entire material will be at the city planners’ disposal as they develop Espoo.

We have already reviewed a number of the development ideas marked by Espoo residents on the map, and we will present some of these ideas on this page under various themes by means of text, illustrations and quotes.

More illustrated ideas will be published during the spring of 2021, and more results will be published as the analysis of the material proceeds.

The survey was carried out in cooperation with Aalto University. The analysis of the material has started at the Espoo City Planning Department and Aalto University where the material is processed as part of the NordGreen project, which explores the health-enhancing effects of the local environment.

Verdant city! 

My Espoo on the Map illustration. A hedgehog and a fox are sitting on the grass. In the background, there are different kinds of buildings, a cyclist, people, a lake, a park and a sailboat.

My Espoo is a verdant and lush city where nature is an integral part of the urban landscape. It is a modern, functional and architecturally glorious city where new construction is beautiful and of high quality.

“New construction should focus on creating a functional centre with city blocks.
The areas outside of it should be reserved for low-rise buildings.”

“Green areas and forests should not be trimmed too ‘geometrically’; instead they should look natural”.  

Vibrant city

My Espoo on the Map illustration. A fisherman is showing a fish to people sitting on the terrace of a coffee shop.
​My Espoo has recreational areas and squares as well as leisure services by the water and nature. They bring life and services to both the city and its natural sites. We should value our green areas and invest in their development and conservation. 
“Espoo needs meeting places, including ones where you don’t have to buy anything; for the use of residents or groups of friends.”
“It would be great to have a beach with a building like the one at Lake Kuusijärvi in Vantaa, with a restaurant, sauna and dressing rooms.”
“I love the idea of a sauna-café. There are several suitable places along the river. It could be close to the station in a more urban environment or a bit further away but still easily accessible.” 

Easy to get around!

My Espoo on the Map, drawing.

In my Espoo, transport and mobility are part of smooth everyday life. Shops and recreational activities can be reached on foot, by bicycle, bus and car and in the future by light rail. Safety is important to Espoo residents.

Espoo residents hope for improvements in public transport connections – especially towards Helsinki and with regard to cross-town routes in Espoo.

“An extensive green area to cover the unattractive ring road and to connect the Otaniemi-Keilaniemi-Tapiola area.”

“Development of the bicycle path network and improvement of its possibilities.”

“Improvement, modernisation and extension of public transport.”

“A boat connection from Espoo’s shores to Helsinki in the summer.”

Nature is an asset for Espoo!

My Espoo on the Map, drawing. People are spending time on the beach at summer. Birds and young birds at water, a fox is sitting at backround.

In my Espoo, nature is close by. Green pedestrian paths encourage people to spend time in nature. Espoo is a maritime city where people enjoy the waterside areas. In my Espoo, green areas are protected and developed. Espoo residents value the connection between nature and people in the city.

“It is easy to walk to natural areas, waterside paths and forests, which is the best thing about Espoo! It would be great if it were easier to explore the archipelago without having to own a boat. The Waterfront Walkway needs to be developed further. Nature is a unique value for Espoo residents.”

“Planning and management of green areas: beauty is important to mental health. I believe that the improvement of areas would motivate people to keep the environment clean.”

“Residents should be given a lot more allotments for cultivation and green areas to take care of for the purpose of promoting biodiversity – it is a collective activity.”

The city as an active urban environment 
My Espoo on the Map, drawing.My Espoo on the Map illustration.At front a cyclist is playing with bike. In the background, there are different kinds of buildings, a fox is sitting with people.

My Espoo has active and pleasant meeting places where people can spend time and exercise. There are restaurants, cafés, playgrounds, fitness trails, swimming pools and pop-up spaces that liven up the city. My Espoo offers a wide range of sports and recreational opportunities, also in the water areas. Espoo residents hope to have more active meeting places. 

“I would love to see a waterside sauna and a café somewhere along the Espoonjoki river. There are several suitable places along the river...” 

“The Waterfront Walkway needs to be developed further by adding cafés and recreational facilities. Boat and canoe rental, for example.” 

“The potential of Karhusaari as a location for summertime activities has been totally ignored. Pop-up cafés, crafts workshops, culture, art, events, a sauna, an ice cream kiosk... The opportunities are endless, while recognising and protecting the current cultural values of the area.” 

“There could be a youth centre nearby where school-age children could spend time and get something to eat after school. There would be fun things to do, like table football, air hockey and so on.” 

Sunny daily life 
My Espoo on the map illustration, Sunny daily life.

My Espoo is resident-oriented and tolerant. Services are also available in other places besides shopping centres. Espoo residents hope for brick-and-mortar shops that are easy to pop into as well as for cultural services and well-functioning basic services. Daily life is sunnier when there are well-functioning and varied services close by. 

“This area does not have many cafés, public saunas etc. People want to use local services and spend time together. However, there are not that many places in Espoo.” 

“We also need a covered or an open-air market where buying is a social activity.” 

My Espoo on the Map survey inspired Espoo residents to come up with ideas for their city

Ideapictures, based on answers from survey: Rasmus Rosenblad, City Planning Department.