Project Overview

European citizens do not participate equally in the Information society: in fact, the digital gap is moving down from infrastructures to uses. Based on this observation, local authorities in Europe have developed Digital Public Spaces (DPS) promoting e-inclusion.

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7. City of Jyväskylä (FI)

 

Who are we?
 
The City of Jyväskylä in Finland  is a local authority with a population of 132 000. Jyväskylä is located in the Central Finland Region and is the 7th biggest city in the country. It is situated 270 km from Helsinki, at the northern end of Finland’s second largest lake, Päijänne.
 
City of Jyväskylä as a municipality has a role in providing services to its citizens. As a local authority it has a strong self-government based on local democracy and decision making, and the right to levy taxes, as well as a broad responsibility in service production. The city is, for example,
 
·         responsible for the provision of primary care, specialist care and dental care, 
·         provides children day-care, welfare for the aged and the disabled, and a wide range of other social services, 
·         runs the country’s comprehensive and upper secondary schools, vocational institutes and universities of applied sciences,  
·         provides adult education, art classes, cultural and recreational services, and runs libraries, 
·         is responsible for water and energy supply, waste management, street and road maintenance and environmental protection, 
·         promotes commerce and employment in their area, 
·         supervises land use and construction, and 
·         promotes a healthy living environment.
 
City of Jyväskylä with its 7500 employees is the biggest employer of the Central Finland region.
 
Where are we from?
 
The past
Jyväskylä is a young town: it celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2012. It grew on a market place in the crossroads of waterways, and became gradually the commercial, industrial and administrative centre of the region. Rapid industrialisation and growth of population after the war formed the basis for the present versatile local economy and vivid urban life.
 
The present
City of Jyväskylä has many special areas of expertise. Jyväskylä’s status as the top city of education is beyond dispute. In Jyväskylä every fourth person is a school-goer or a student.  The level of education of the inhabitants of Jyväskylä is very high. The University of Jyväskylä, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, and the Air Force Academy are among Finland’s most popular and prestigious institutions of higher education.
 
Jyväskylä’s cultural offer is versatile: city is a forerunner in urban outdoor lighting, hosts a variety of large international events from a rally to many congresses and trade fairs, and is famous for the designs of architect Alvar Aalto.
 
Jyväskylä is the economic driver or the region. Three clusters are especially strong in the region: new generation machinery, bioenergy, and housing & construction.  The region has strong expertise in technological fields like ICT, paper machinery and paper making, bioenergy, nanotechnology, environmental and wellness technology.
 
The future
As a youthful student city, one of the main challenges of Jyväskylä is to increase tax revenues and business growth, and to find new, better and more productive ways of producing public services to the citizens.
 
The Jyväskylä region follows a smart specialisation strategy where the major strengths of the area have been identified to create growth and jobs. It aims to strengthening of the region’s competitiveness by cooperating with companies, universities, citizens and development organisations.
 
Most of the regional innovation actors are currently preparing for the new national innovation policy, implementation of which is going to take place in a number of selected innovation hubs. Jyväskylä is determined to be one of those, combining the expertise of its universities, research centres and world-class enterprises with well-educated and highly skilled workforce. 
 
 
Why are we here?
 
City of Jyväskylä provides many kinds of electronic services for its citizens. We are constantly exploring new ways of improving them and making them more user-friendly and interactive in good co-operation with the users. Part of this is the work currently underway for the new comprehensive architecture of the electronic services, including improvement of e.g. e-feedback systems, e-customer service system, mobile services and other tools for e-communication with the citizens.
 
In the E-COOP project we  hope to exchange and learn from the experience of the other partners and bring ideas and good practices from the European colleagues to local use. We are most  interested in different crowd-sourcing and crowd-doing experiences in the public sector, in opening the public data and improving the dialogue between the decision makers and the citizens.
 
The City of Jyväskylä is co-operating with the JAMK University of Applied Sciences in the E-COOP project. The university is well- known in the region e.g. for its’ Living Lab specialised in Service & Experience Design. Applying user-centric Living Lab methodology, the Lutakko Living Lab integrates learning and study environments into real-life open RDI environments.
 
We are convinced about to do so we have to invest in understanding our environment in order to deliver better solution to our citizens by using innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship capacities.
 
We aim to become a knowledge society observatory: our smart citizens use smart phones which at the same time create smart communities, contributing to build smart cities. Considering this environment, our organisation will continue working on enhancing digital literacy, skills and inclusion at our territory.
 
Our organisation will continue delivering solutions to develop e-government focused on:
 
o         providing citizens with better access to information and public services
o         improving the quality of services
o         increasing the participation of citizens on the decision making process, helping to develop democratic local governments.
 
Why are we here?
 
Ecoop’s project will provide us the opportunity to understand collectively the new challenges that our territories are facing in the knowledge society. To understand them better will allow us to respond them with more accurate and specific solutions. Sharing experiences within our project’s partners will definitely provide us better opportunities for improving our knowledge and developing services needed to build smart new territories in our region.
 
It is important to highlight within this project the need to implicate citizens along the process of producing services. Exchanging ideas and practices with our partners could help to develop new spaces for citizen’s participation. Within this direction, a collaboration with Citilab, an experimental centre for the dissemination of technological culture, is already being developed: a pioneering experiment built to demonstrate what citizens are capable to innovate and create as far as they are in an appropriate environment.
 
Our institution works to improve services focused on education, health and justice, improving access for the disabled people and people with fewer economic resources. Our organisation is already promoting the development of health services which can benefit either the patient as the health system, working on giving guarantee about its development and implementation becomes much wider.
 
 
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