The planning unit implements 200 to 300 projects each year, many of which are discussed on various unofficial forums, such as the Puskaradio Espoo Facebook group. Therefore, we wanted to try using a formal discussion forum as part of the interaction inherent in the planning projects.
We have established an online etiquette for the discussions concerning the Public Works Department and discovered that the Otakantaa.fi website could also be used as a retrospective interaction assessment tool as it allows us to review, monitor and verify the different stages and discussions in the interaction. It would seem that the Otakantaa.fi website increases not only interaction but also transparency. Besides providing an opportunity to give feedback on the projects, Otakantaa.fi offers the residents a discussion forum hosted by the city.
Some of the projects on the Otakantaa.fi website include a video presentation with the respective project manager discussing the details, schedule and opportunities to influence the process. These subtitled videos significantly improve the accessibility of the projects.
Public Works Department has received excellent feedback regarding the use of the Otakantaa.fi website. Residents have been pleased with the opportunity to visit and participate in the projects at their convenience. The planners have been satisfied with the ease of use of the site and the quality of the feedback.
Website otakantaa.fi (only in Finnish or Swedish)
Niko Riepponen, Participation Designer
Marko Pesonen, Participation Designer