City of Vantaa: Service architecture competition brought fresh ideas for seeking something

In autumn 2011, the City of Vantaa organised an idea competition to inspire children, youth, individual residents, students, as well as companies and communities to come up with ideas on ways to create welfare services in the Marja-Vantaa region in future.

The competition entries and ideas could concern the welfare service system of Marja-Vantaa and its architecture as a whole, individual services or sets of services, existing or new services, ways to arrange services or the use of technologies in service arrangement.

The competition was implemented through four separate categories. In the category for companies and communities, 27 competition entries were submitted, while seven were submitted by private persons and five by students. More than 90 competition entries came in from pupils and children at the early education age.

"We wanted to find an all new outlook on services, social and health services in particular. The idea was to involve the residents and the market in the development work and to receive the best ideas from the companies operating in the area. Marja-Vantaa was considered a good breeding ground for this development work as services currently only exist for a very small share of the residents", Administration Manager Satu Siikander from the City of Vantaa explains.

The service architecture competition was refined into an implementation model when the organisers started seeking funding for the project. At that stage, it was also clear that the competition needed to be mutual for all fields: social and health services could not be isolated as a separate pocket for which services would be created. It was only natural that city planning, educational services, leisure and residential services also entered the picture.

Competition left its marks

According to Siikander, the process related to the competition required learning and, in its own way, also a change of attitudes.

"It is a significant step when a public actor starts seriously rethinking its own way to produce services. One of the notable benefits throughout this process was that the city's management group was highly committed to the project. The completed competition still affects us when we discuss the development of services provided in Vantaa."

Despite the high number of competition entries submitted, an award was only granted in the category for schoolchildren. In other respects, the competition jury found that the ideas submitted, all things considered, did not sufficiently meet the evaluation criteria set.

"The competition was a massive effort and a wide-ranging attempt to find something truly new. Our goal still is to find new kinds of partnerships and ways to produce services. The involvement of residents in service development must be increased. We are going to keep promoting these goals, but in a smaller scale than the competition we carried out", Siikander notes.

Marja-Vantaa Service Architecture Competition was organised by the departments of the City of Vantaa in cooperation with the Marja-Vantaa project. The service architecture competition was funded by Tekes' 'Innovations in Social and Healthcare Services' programme and the City of Vantaa. The project manager was Ramboll Management Consulting Oy.

The Marja-Vantaa project has operated under the Land Use, Building and Environmental Department of Vantaa since the beginning of 2007; at the turn of the year, it will be merged with the City Planning profit area. The planning of Marja-Vantaa has advanced as far as the beginning of the actual construction work in the area. Therefore, the separate project organisation will be replaced with a regular line organisation.

Further information

Satu Siikander
Administration Manager
City of Vantaa, social and health services
Tel. +358 40 534 6962
satu.siikander (at)

Text: Teonsana Oy


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