Helping Helsinki citizens to decide how to spend millions of euros
OmaStadi is the city of Helsinki’s way of providing participatory budgeting services for the citizens, allowing them to take part in deciding how the city spends its money. Mainio Tech developed and implemented the OmaStadi digital participation platform to serve modern citizen democracy in Helsinki.
OmaStadi – participatory budgeting in the capital of Finland
Helsinki allocates millions of euros annually to participatory budgeting (over 14 million euros since 2018) in order to realize modern citizen democracy and the people’s wishes on how the city spends its money.
The OmaStadi platform allows the citizens’ ideas to be collected and then discussed and developed – together with the people themselves – into final proposals that the citizens can vote on. The proposals with the most votes are realized by the city.
Designing and implementing the OmaStadi platform
Mainio Tech designed and implemented the OmaStadi digital participation platform for Helsinki in close cooperation with the customer. We utilized the Decidim open-source platform, customizing it based on the city’s specific needs.
building API’s and customizing software extensions and modules
The process began with us consulting the city of Helsinki regarding the tools and processes they would need for the OmaStadi platform. Based on feedback from the city officials, we designed and implemented the platform, which included building API’s and customizing software extensions and modules in order for the platform to best serve Helsinki’s exact requirements.
More than just platform building
Mainio Tech is a creative and versatile consultant and partner for towns and cities who wish to utilize modern citizen participation. In the OmaStadi participatory budgeting project, the process consisted of a whole lot more that just being a technical partner and designing and implementing the final platform.
creative and versatile consultant and partner for towns and cities who wish to utilize modern citizen participation
We began with listening to the city’s needs, discussing about the process requirements and then consulting the city on the best ways to design and implement the platform. The process also included collecting feedback from both the citizens and the city employees, in order for use to be able to improve the system as part of a continuous process and client relationship.
"The citizens’ voices have been heard"
The OmaStadi digital participation platform has truly helped the city of Helsinki to realize modern citizen involvement and collective decision making in the form of participatory budgeting.
modern citizen involvement and collective decision making
In 2021, nearly 1,500 citizen ideas were submitted to OmaStadi. The ideas were developed into 397 proposals to be voted on. The number of city residents who participated in the vote was 47,064.
Sports and outdoor activities received the highest number of proposals and votes in almost all Helsinki districts. The next largest number of votes were cast for proposals relating to parks and nature, and for proposals related to community and ecology.
Record-breaking e-voting in Finland
The OmaStadi participatory budgeting is so far the largest e-voting performed in Finland. We are proud to say that we have successfully managed to host the voting process for about a tenth (8.1%) of the Helsinki citizens.