OmaStadi - providing participatory budgeting services


OmaStadi – helping Helsinki become the most functional city in the world with citizen-centric approach and co-design

service design, Concept design, Customer & visitor experience design

OmaStadi is the City of Helsinki’s way of providing participatory budgeting services. The first round of OmaStadi took place in 2018-2019, with a budget of 4,4, million reserved for for fulfilling residents’ wishes. For the second season 2020–2021, Helsinki has allocated 8.8 million euros for realising the ideas submitted by local residents. During the OmaStadi process and co-creation phase the initial ideas will be developed with participatory co-creation methods and tools into viable proposals by the residents and experts from the City organisation. Helsinki residents can then vote on the proposals, and the City will bring the highest-voted proposals to reality.

The team responsible for participatory budgeting at the Participation and Citizen Information Unit of The City of Helsinki asked Pentagon Design to help with the development of the participatory budgeting process, phases and methods, using various methods of strategic design and inclusive co-creation. The collaboration resulted for example in new co-creation events, OmaStadi Raksat, that brought together residents and officials working at the City organization, and co-creation tools that helped the resident to refine the initial ideas into proposals ready for the voting phase. Pentagon Insight also contributed to the project by creating motivation-based citizen profiles of participation for development tools to advance the citizen-centric approach and for including also the viewpoint of less active residents. For the voting phase, Pentagon Design designed and produced an engaging pop up exhibition concept, the OmaStadi Expo, that presented the proposals creatively in local libraries around the city.


The aim of participatory budgeting is to increase the possibilities of citizens for direct impact and for the City to also benefit from the expertise of citizens in the development of our common city. Pentagon Design’s experts helped the team responsible for participatory budgeting – including the team managers, interaction designer and the seven borough liasons – to develop the process of participatory budgeting, the participatory methods and tools, the co-creation phase and the OmaStadi Raksa co-creation events for residenst, and also to hands-on facilitate the multistakeholder development process and the OmaStadiRaksat.

The development, concepting and design work started in the fall of 2018 with Design Jam – sprints and co-creation workshops that brought together City’s experts and officials with residents. The sprints and workshops gave input for designing the process and tools so that the needs and viewpoints of both residents as well as the City’s officials were included. The process and tools, including the OmaStadi Raksa co-creation canvases and workbooks – one designed especially for residents and one for City’s experts and officials – were tailored from scratch and based on strategic design,the approaches of deliberative democracy and decentralized decision making and specifically on co-creation that brought together a diverse group of stakeholders and participants.


The participatory budgeting in Helsinki aims to increase the agency and sense of communality of residents; advance deliberative democracy, dialogue between residenst and the City as well as the transparency of the City organizations; and of course help the City of Helsinki become the most functional city in the world.

The OmaStadi Raksa events were a welcomed and succesfull experience for both residents as well as for the City officials and experts, and clearly advanced the impact objectives set for OmaStadi.
The first phase of OmaStadi resulted in 1261 city changing ideas that were further honed and combined together with similar ideas during the co-creation phase and OmaStadi Raksa events to form the final 296 proposals, ready for the voting phase. The proposals of the first OmaStadi round of 2018-2019 that scored most of the votes have partly already been and are currently realised by the City. The second round of OmaStadi kickstarted during the fall of 2020 and will be advancing once again resident-driven change in Helsinki towards the most functional City in the world.


Omastadi website.

Strategic design and inclusive co-creation help to innovate new, impact creative participatory models and tools that advance the collaboration between citizens and the City.

  • 1261 city changing ideas
  • 296 proposals for voting
  • Budget of 4,4, million euros

”According to our review, the co-creation phase and OmaStadi Raksa events were evaluated to be highly successful by the City officials and experts as well as the residents that took part in the events. ”

The review report of Helsinki City’s participatory budgeting – OmaStadi 2018 – 2020

OSBU Design Jam

OmaStadi Raksa