How one Nordic city engages people
The city of Hyvinkää in southern Finland is a charming town, where any visitor would feel at home. The city has a small-town vibe coupled with the magnetism of a dynamic community. There is also something else about this town that is also unique, they do community engagement that is easy for the whole town to participate.
The city administration of Hyvinkää believes that community engagement can make a difference in how the city makes decisions. This belief is driven by a changing culture regarding civic participation and municipal economic challenges. Meaning that people want to be more involved with local issues and the same time the city wants to stimulate new growth. For these reasons the city takes community engagement seriously.
However, they have faced the same challenges as all other small cities when trying to improve their community engagement activities. Reaching enough residents and the necessary resources to do so. Reaching out to a significant amount locals or specific groups of residents is not easy or cheap. In fact, it can feel like dumping money down the drain, a lot of effort and cash spent with very little results.
In response, Hyvinkää decided to take a tech approach, their own mobile app. An effective and inexpensive way of reaching and talking to residents. The people in the city download the app and then whenever the city needs their opinion or input on an important subject, the city just ask via the app.
And it is working. In the first 6 weeks the city was able to engage over 1,750 residents, gathering 13,000 responses and opinions on various community issues.
This kind of data gathering ability is a solid foundation for achieving dynamic engagement that results in people being at the center of municipal decision making.
This city is using their mobile app for pulse analysis, shorter surveys, local citizenship building, involvement modeling etc. The hope is that it will result in more efficient resource allocation with greater impact. Which means they can strengthen community identity, develop better city services and bolster the local economy.
Want to reach the people of your town the same way Hyvinkää has? Contact Us!
Also read about how other Finnish cities are doing citizen engagement in 3 Creative Ways Finnish Cities are Engaging Their Communities.