Resident-driven urban planning in Tampere’s Peltolammi and Multisilta districts 

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Our team worked as a service design partner in the City of Tampere’s suburban development programme in the residential districts of Peltolammi and Multisilta in 2020-2022. 

Service design, Concept design,Urban space design, Customer insight, Customer & visitor experience design, Communication planning

A directive of the collaboration was to strengthen regional attraction and advance residential-driven, holistic development. Our role was to facilitate cross-sectoral co-design processes and to support long-span cooperation that serves to bring together the city’s designers with residents as well as various local stakeholders.       

Peltolammi and Multisilta are residential districts that were developed as part of the Finnish Ministry of the Environment’s suburban development programme (Lähiöohjelma in Finnish), running nationwide from 2020-2022. The objectives of the programme were to create vitality in the suburbs and to lean into a holistic approach in urban planning, to prevent segregation, and to promote the participation and wellbeing of citizens.

We gave our support to the City of Tampere’s internal work and cross-sectoral collaboration in reaching the above-mentioned goals. Our work included understanding the mindset of residents to support the design process, as well as strengthening the principle of participatory and resident-driven development throughout and beyond the process.



The development initiative of the suburban districts of Peltolammi and Multisilta was based on co-design, involving both residents and various stakeholders of the areas, as well as representatives of the City of Tampere’s different service areas. We supported the city organisation in the co-design process, linked together different operational measures, and promoted a sense of interaction amongst the various project participants.

The take on regional development was based on previously conducted studies and design projects. We started the collaboration by planning how to meet the needs of residents by referencing previously compiled first-hand data and research findings. Based on this study phase, four themes were pinpointed to guide the regional development of Peltolammi-Multisilta: Resident Wellbeing, Environment for Good Everyday Life, Local Services, and Doing Together. These themes formed the starting point for analysing the bigger picture of regional development, as well as feeding into communications and the planning of points of development.

In spring 2021, we organised virtual co-design workshops aimed at residents, local stakeholders, and designers from the City of Tampere. Organised together with the city, the workshops produced various ideas and helped to prioritise the development efforts, and gave a more precise vision to existing plans. The purpose of the collaboration was to advance the dialogue between residents, stakeholders, and the city’s planners. This approach attempted to facilitate the participation of quieter groups in the conversation and pinpoint their development-related needs. To support the collaboration with residents, we helped organise volunteer-based resident assemblies and to define the mission of these initiatives. We also took part in organising resident events.


According to the final survey, residents feel that the perceived image of the area has improved through the suburban development programme. Residents also relate more positively to future local development efforts. Participating stakeholders felt that the programme led to new and impactful forms of collaborative and operational models, that the internal cooperation within the city improved, and that there was an open atmosphere to share information and experiences.

As a concrete result, the collaboration included an online handbook on neighbourhood development which was published on the City of Tampere’s website (Kaupunginosakehittämisen opas in Finnish). The guide presents the different phases and methods in the suburban development programme that we took part in organising and executing.

A regional brand was also launched to be used for communications purposes.

Partnering up for the promotion of resident-driven urban development and cross-sectoral collaboration

The neighbourhood development guide learning points, experiences and offers for future initiatives

The learnings of local development initiatives are often left in the hands of the group that worked on them. In order to share the lessons more widely, the experiences gathered in the suburban programme of the Peltolammi-Multisilta area were compiled into a guide to support future initiatives in other areas.

The effectiveness of the programme was assessed in autumn 2022 by gathering feedback, observations and points of improvement from residents and other stakeholders. The online surveys included questions about the programme’s workshops, resident events, opportunities for impact, and developmental efforts. In addition, thoughts on perceived changes and ideas for further development were also collected.

We also conducted four interviews with resident assembly members. The online interviews dove into the personal experiences of these active participants, asking about their observations throughout the process and the perceivable changes in the districts.

Based on previous project phases, as well as surveys and interviews, we compiled the lessons learned in the development of Peltolammi-Multisilta into a neighbourhood development handbook. The online guide serves as support and a source of information for other residential development projects in the future. The guide presents the themes and process phases in the Peltolammi-Multisilta development initiative, tools for resident-driven co-design, and city strategies to take into account. The guide also includes examples of fulfilled action points in Peltolammi-Multisilta, as well as quotes and comments from residents and other stakeholders.

Handbook on neighbourhood development(in Finnish) – – PeltsuMultsun opit tulevaisuuden kaupunginosakehittäjille (pdf)


Offering support for points of development

One of the selected areas for resident-driven co-design was the development of the Multisillanpuisto park. The park combines zones for play and games, a patch of forest, and a new in-between zone merging different functions. Our aim was to ensure that the needs of different user groups were heard in the overall plan and its adjustments for the park. We tested out some models and established some of them in order to enhance the participatory nature of the urban design process.

The more precise needs regarding the Multisillanpuisto area were specified in workshops held on-site, as well as via an online map-based survey. The process involved seeking out various ideas and solutions. Diverse users from schoolchildren to adult residents were heard in order to define needs and solutions. Our role was to plan and facilitate participatory workshops, to help interpret the results of the co-design work, and to support the work of the park’s designers based on these results.

The preliminary plans for the development of the Multisillanpuisto park were presented in autumn 2021 during resident events. Hosted together with the City of Tampere, the workshops welcomed more than 200 citizens. The events served to collect observations of residents and to hear further wishes before pinning down the final plans, as well as offer a more in-depth presentation of local development ideas for an audience of various local stakeholders.

“It was important for us to be able to create as many points of co-design and interaction as possible for the involved stakeholders and neighbourhood residents. Partnering with Pentagon Design enabled accomplishing this in a wider sense and with higher quality.”

Henna Kuitunen, project manager, Peltolammi-Multisilta neighbourhood development programme

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A regional brand to strengthen local pride and unified communications

Communication was clearly recognised as a point of development in the process. Previous communications efforts had failed to effectively reach different residential groups. Residents felt that information on the development work was dispersed and hard to find. The perceived image of the areas did not meet the residents’ own experience of a lively and cosy nature-driven district.

We created the local brand carrying the friendly and fun nickname PeltsuMultsu to support communications. The brand––created together with the city, local residents, and different local stakeholders––serves to create a positive image of the area and promote its recognisability and attractiveness. The local brand also aims to strengthen resident pride, and to facilitate setting up local events and other initiatives.

The visual identity of the local brand echoed the visual look and feel of the City of Tampere. The brand identity highlights recognisable strengths in the area, and was useful in providing information on the development efforts in an approachable manner. Different communications channels and their contents were also sharpened and unified. New channels were set up, such as a website and a Facebook page. The City of Tampere’s channels were also put to use. Print materials were also used for communications, such as streetside advertisement, notice boards in shops, and direct distribution to residents. Strengthening the brand also required a certain visibility in the area. The various communications channels and information bulletins both online and offline were complimented by an illuminated word installation of the hashtag #PeltsuMultsu that serves as the collective symbol of the area.

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