Two new pilots to strengthen community and sustainable local services in neighbourhoods

Artikkelikuva: Two new pilots to strengthen community and sustainable local services in neighbourhoods

Applications that help residents connect with each other and find local services will be piloted in neighbourhoods in the spring 2023. The pilots were selected from the Sustainable neighbourhood open call.

The Sustainable Neighbourhood open call sought solutions that would bring everyday services closer to residents and make everyday life easier. Two solutions were selected for the pilot: Superhood and TaloyhtiöCommu. The pilots are part of the Circular Green Blocks project.

The neighbourhood app brings local services on the map

Superhood is a neighbourhood application for people, businesses and cities. The app provides comprehensive and regionally targeted information from the neighbourhood.. It allows people to keep up to date with local issues and news, find information about local services, share information and make a difference in their area. The service will initially be launched in four neighbourhoods: Malminkartano-Kannelmäki, Mellunkylä, Lauttasaari and Kamppi.

“Unlike traditional social media services, Superhood is designed for neighbourhoods and local issues. Superhood highlights local news and information from different sources and allows users and organisations themselves to publish information locally and in a targeted way,” says the founder of Superhood, Markku Mehtälä.

During the pilot, services that support residents’ sustainable everyday living will be sought for the platform. These include e.g. ResQ Club, which distributes rescued food, and Renda, a platform for peer-to-peer sharing of items. 

Neighbourly help in a housing company

In the second pilot, Commu and service design agency 2Loops are bringing the Commu application to housing companies. The service allows residents to offer things such as a friendly chat or a ride, share leftover food or lend things to their neighbours. The service lowers the threshold for asking for and giving help, enables meaningful encounters and makes everyday help easily available to everyone living in a housing company. 

The pilot will gather data to support service development and explore how the digital platform can facilitate neighbourly help and create a sense of community among a restricted group of users. The Commu app is already being used at the neighbourhood level, but during the pilot it will be tested for the first time in a housing company environment. The pilot is carried out in cooperation with the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region (Hoas) and the Y-Foundation Group’s rental company M2-Kodit.

“The objective of the pilot is to build a sense of community and create a culture of sharing within the housing company. As a pilot partner and expert in service design, 2Loops allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of a housing company and the attitudes of its residents towards offering and asking for help,” says the founder of Commu, Sami Ekmark. 

The Circular Green Blocks – Sustainable city quarters as circular economy business promoters project (9/2021–8/2023) promotes circular and sharing economy in residential blocks together with housing companies, businesses and the City. The project is being implemented by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY, Forum Virium Helsinki, Aalto University and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Union’s COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Article photo: Maija Astikainen, City of Helsinki

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