How to offer good-quality public services in a city made of five big city centres and numerous smaller ones spread out on a 312 km² area? Iso Omena Service Centre, in one of the big city centres of Matinkylä-Olari, is Espoo's intelligent but simple innovation to solve the problem.
Iso Omena Service Centre offers better public services to the community by bringing together everyday services and people. The city provides the services in a place that is a bustling public transport connection point and a place where people want to spend their time — the Iso Omena shopping centre.
Services of your life in one place
People can use ten different public services at the service centre: a library, youth services, a maternity and child health clinic, a health centre, mental health and substance abuse services, KELA Social Insurance Institution, a Service Point, HUS laboratory, and Kohtaamo — a meeting place for art and culture.
"We believe that intelligent services are born in the community — from co-operation between the service providers and people. This way, we can develop better services for the citizens of Espoo," says Veera Vihula, Project Manager at Iso Omena Service Centre.
And here we uncover the key to what makes Iso Omena Service Centre intelligent and unique: The centre offers a meeting place for people and the services. Sounds simple, right? But by doing so, the centre goes beyond being just a location where you can carry out your necessary chores. Instead, the centre also opens the door to co-creation.
Innovation platform of the community
When there is interaction between people, the opportunities to create something new sprout. Iso Omena Service Centre is an innovation platform that encourages citizens to take an active role in making Espoo a better city to live in.
Whether you are an individual, company or an association, you can use various working spaces and co-create new ideas, services and products with citizens. The service centre personnel are also there for you and eager to take part. This is the Espoo-way of doing things. In Espoo's innovation ecosystem, people, companies, public service providers, and organisations innovate and improve the city's quality of life together.
"Iso Omena Service Centre, as a member of Espoo's innovation ecosystem, is a place where the whole city's innovation potential comes to life," Vihula says.
Espoo has only just started to pick the fruits of its community innovation potential. With a young, growing and highly educated population, a thriving startup scene, and the new West Metro Growth Corridor, Espoo has the potential to become an even better city for its citizens and sustainable business.
"I believe that the shared sense of community will only grow stronger in the coming years. We will have even better avenues for co-operation where different actors come together. This way, we'll find new, even more, sustainable solutions to future challenges. Solutions that will create more wellbeing and make Espoo an even better city to live in," Vihula concludes.
Hero image: Katariina Hannukainen