Young people wish to see a green and responsible Espoo

  • City planning
  • Participation and influencing
30.11.2021 12.50
Two smiling young people are sitting on a bench and looking at their phones. There are trees, a bin and a section of a volleyball net behind them.
Photo: Taru Turpeinen

Young people of Espoo would like to see an eco-friendly, pleasant and safe city, where nature is near and there are plenty of activities. This can be seen in the results of the My Espoo survey for young people, which received responses from over 2,400 young people: mainly students in the sixth and ninth grades, but also general upper secondary school and vocational school students.

As opposed to the My Espoo on the Map survey, the survey for young people also included questions about the Espoo Story strategy. This article is based on these responses.                                         

Local services, activities and eco-friendly life

The qualities mentioned most frequently in the responses were environmental friendliness and eco-friendliness, nature conservation and taking care of nature. In the future, young people would prefer not to see litter laying about everywhere or nature being completely cleared. They would also like pollution to decrease and for the environment to be clean and pleasant. Many young people do not wish to see excessively large blocks of flats or live in cramped flats. Many also believe that there should be more plants and parks. Young people would like Espoo to be a modern city, where nature is near and life in general is eco-friendly.

Many young people would like Espoo to have more places for recreation and more activity and sports opportunities for people of all ages. They would also like to see more skateboarding parks, dog parks, sports fields, ice and sports halls and libraries. They would also like to have more locations for jogging and all-terrain cycling in nature.

Many respondents would like services to be closer and wished that transport would be improved to make travelling within the city easier. More lampposts would be needed for safety and overall practicality.

Young people’s concerns

Many young people mentioned safety and a sense of security in their responses. They would like it to be safer to move about alone, especially at night, and for traffic to be safer and for bullying to stop, especially towards minorities. Vandalism and violence should be intervened in, in the young people’s opinion. Use of alcohol and drugs raised concerns among the young people.

Some respondents were afraid that Espoo will be in a worse state in the future than now. The respondents mentioned that people do not pay sufficient attention to things that actually matter, but only to things that interest them personally. People should pay more attention to climate change and the use of alcohol and drugs among young people. Law-breaking, in traffic, for example, was also mentioned.

Young people call for responsibility

Change requires everyone understanding what needs to be done for a good future, and for them to act accordingly. Some young people suggested that, instead of clearing out nature, buildings could be renovated more and old buildings could be demolished to make room for new ones. Many respondents mentioned that people should adopt newer and more environmentally-friendly technology more extensively. Public transport should also be made more efficient, and its use should be encouraged.

It would increase safety if rules were made stricter and older people set a better example for young people. The dangers posed by certain stupid actions should be discussed more, as should their consequences for the person themselves and others. Good deeds should also be encouraged more!

Hopefully, young people’s opinions will be taken into consideration and influence future decisions. Many of the young people’s suggestions are beneficial for everyone.

About the author:

Maria Järvinen, a 9th-grader from Kuitinmäki School, carried out her introduction to working life period at the City Planning Department in autumn 2020. As a part of the introduction, she learned about the responses to the My Espoo survey related to the Espoo Story.

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