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Why design?

Design is a strategic tool for Helsinki to build the most functional city in the world and smooth everyday life for all. Design benefits everyone and people of all ages from toddlers to seniors in Helsinki.

Design builds a functional city

Helsinki uses design to develop all operations and services of the city: social and healthcare services, early childhood education and schools, the urban environment, and cultural and leisure services.

Key to all design is the understanding of citizen needs and the participation of citizens in design processes.

The value of design to Helsinki

  1. Improvement in customer experience.
    Helsinki develops the city together with citizens by listening to their needs and by responding to their feedback.
  2. Design is a method to reform the City of Helsinki operating culture and the City of Helsinki organization. Design is also used to improve the employee experience, as well as the services provided by the City.
  3. Design is a means for Helsinki to distinguish itself and a key element of the City Brand.
    Helsinki is a major City of Design, which arouses interest in its expertise and experiences in the use design.

 

Understanding citizens 

The purpose of design is to help the City of Helsinki to understand the everyday lives and needs of citizens. Helsinki exists for the citizens of Helsinki, and design turns the eyes of the City towards citizens.

The premise of all design activities is the needs of customers: what the wishes and challenges of the users of services are, and how the City can respond to those wishes and challenges.

  1. Customer insight
    A will to understand the lives of citizens and to solve their challenges.
  2. Co-design
    Ideation for new solutions and co-design on the basis of customer insight.
  3. Testing with users
    Testing and piloting together with users, learning from tests and pilots for implementation.

Solutions to meaningful challenges 

Helsinki seeks to be the most functional city in the world and a pioneer in sustainable urban development. The achievement of these goals requires systemic changes, bold experiments and engaging large stakeholder groups. Here design offers both tools and support.

Helsinki has actively tackled many challenges including the climate crisis and the aging of the population. Design is one tool to solve meaningful social challenges.

Design has also accelerated change in the City’s own operating culture and supported the development of Helsinki into an open, innovative and exciting city.

Design means all-embracing development in Helsinki. 

Photo: Jussi Hellsten

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