Vantaa welcomes everybody to develop the global city - new Vantaa of Innovations strategy points the way to go
The new Vantaa of Innovations strategy dictates the city’s direction for the following four years. Vantaa City Council ratified the strategy in its meeting on January 31.
The city’s vision is: brave, relaxed, and attractive Vantaa is a forerunner of sustainability.
“We are excited about the new strategy and hope that others will be, too! We will achieve our vision by working together with all our residents and the city’s actors. We are aiming at an even better Vantaa where residents lead happy, empathic, cozy, significant, and sustainable everyday lives,” says mayor Ritva Viljanen.
Focus areas are the keystone
The 2022-2025 council period strategy has been prepared for a long time, both internally and with the trustees and the city's stakeholders.
The strategy specifies the following six focuses, including their goals, which dictate the city’s work:
- Financially sustainable and vital city
- Good residence-oriented services
- Preventing inequality
- Resource-smart and carbon-neutral Vantaa
- Thriving city centers
- Meaningful work by active leadership
“We are striving to further bolster our solid finances; this will make it possible for us to offer each Vantaa resident a hometown where it is good to be and where businesses can grow. Accountability is part of all our work, and our work helps to prevent, for instance, climate change and inequality. As a big employer, we invest in leadership to be able to provide our present and future employees with meaningful work,” adds mayor Ritva Viljanen.
“Innovations will help to boost the robust growth we have experienced during the past few years. Last year we were nominated a European Rising Innovative City, which was due to, among other things, our rapid growth, as well as our widescale development of carbon neutrality, social innovations, and digital solutions. We will continue our journey on this path, as guided by our new strategy: bold innovations will move our city forward.”
During the strategy period, Finnish cities will face a drastic restructuring due to the health and social services reform. An interim review of Vantaa's strategy will be made when social welfare, health care, and rescue services transfer to the new wellbeing services county in 2023.
Robust economy further bolstered
Vantaa differs from the other big cities in its internationality, highlighted in a versatile population structure and the city's position as an airport city that acts as Finland's gateway to the rest of the world.
The city's solid economy acts as a buttress on which services and other operations lean. The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the previous strategy period, which is seen in the city’s development as a whole. We have, nevertheless, healed well and managed to keep our financial situation good. The pandemic did not stop Vantaa’s population growth.
The new strategy period will preserve the city’s strong economy, boost know-how and employment, and increase Vantaa’s attractiveness as a residential place.
Nobody left behind – everybody can be a Vantaa resident
The strategy puts major input into the residents’ wellbeing and non-discrimination with the essential goal of stifling the development of marginalization and inequality. This can be achieved by increasing the attractiveness of residential areas at risk of marginalization; by building a culture supporting operating conditions; and by ensuring the employees’ facilities for serving multicultural residents. The continued growth of rapidly growing Vantaa relies, to an increasing extent, on foreign-language-speaking immigrants, which constitutes both an advantage and a challenge. Integration focuses on multidisciplinary cooperation.
“Everybody can be a Vantaa resident. Everybody is welcome to Vantaa! Our principle is that nobody is left behind, and the city is a forerunner of preventing marginalization. We will continue the regional Program of Positive Action and encourage our residents to become active participants. In the background of our innovation prize lie the city's many social innovations; community togetherness and doing together are thriving here in Vantaa, and the city strongly supports them.
Interesting city centers provide something for everyone
Vantaa is built around interesting urban city centers where everybody can find their own characteristic residential area. Development of city centers is based on their own histories and aims at cozy and safe areas, surrounding nature, and easy mobility. The city plans joy-bringing cultural and leisure services in the centers that offer something for everybody, ranging from toddlers to grandpas, and encourage people to come and see them even from outside of Vantaa.
Ambitious goals to battle climate crisis
Vantaa has ambitious climate goals, and the city aims to be carbon neutral as early as in 2030. This requires that the carbon-neutrality goal be accounted for in all the city’s operations and influencing options, in land use, acquisitions, building, schools, and mobility. The guiding principle is transfer to circular economy and making the airport area the most environment-friendly airport city in all of Europe.
Looking farther into the future – themes to ensure accountability
The world will not be wrapped up during the four-year strategy period, which is why Vantaa is also looking farther ahead. The city has four key projects to build the future in a longer span: the light rail will ensure an integrated urban structure; the cultural house will highlight the importance of culture; Kuusijärvi outdoor recreation area will increase tourism and recreational use of nature; and the Learning Campus will satisfy the needs of vitality and life-long learning.
In addition, there are five strategic themes that address longer-term future challenges and ensure cross-administrative implementation in our wide city organization. Strategic themes implement the United Nation’s accountability goals. The themes will coordinate the city-level work, as the strategic focuses will be extensively implemented by the different departments of the city. The strategic themes aim at: building wellbeing, social and ecological sustainability; vitality and know-how, as well as internationality.