Hyvinkää city, a medium size municipality in southern Finland, wanted to know the winter activity habits of their residents. This was for the purpose of better understanding how people use their leisure time and what role public services (skiing trails, recreational parks, etc.) played. The city used their community engagement platform Hyvinkää Äppi, provided by Future Dialog, to engage and understand their residents.
The city’s development and communications departments were the main drivers for the project. They began this journey by setting a framework for their community engagement campaign.
· Who do we want to get information from?
· What kinds of information do we need?
The city needed to know what activities people did and they wanted to know this from as many residents as possible. Using the Future Dialog SaaS platform, the city set out creating a simple survey. The survey was targeted to all of the Hyvinkää Äppi users (over 2600 people). It simply asked people what recreational activities they did during the winter. In about a months’ time, over 500 people responded to the survey.As the city look at the results of the survey, they learned something surprising, a significant amount of people enjoy walking as a winter time leisure activity.
With this new insight into people’s behavior, the city decided to conduct another engagement campaign. They wanted to understand peoples walking habits in more detail. The new survey asked people things like where they often walk to, how often they walk, and what could be improved concerning the walking routes in the city. Simultaneously, a survey about street and pathway lighting in the dark Finnish winter was also released to draw correlations between walking during winter time and sufficient illumination. The follow up survey had well over 200 respondents. The survey revealed that people tend to walk for pleasure rather than to go somewhere. It also revealed that the majority of people, in a general sense, are satisfied with the walking opportunities of the city; but they would like to have a designated forest path that is separate from the cross-country skiing paths. People really enjoy taking walks in the forest but do not want to compete with skiers for the same space.
Using the Future Dialog platform to engage their stakeholders, the city discovered something new and surprising about the people they serve and, importantly, learned that there are a few simple things that can be done to improve people’s everyday lives.
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Keywords: Customer understanding, Customer insight,
Stakeholder commitment, Community engagement , Stakeholder buy-in.