Sustainable Tampere – Fighting climate change starts locally, and environmental effects should be considered with all decisions. Supporting public transport, improving biking infrastructure and facilitating changes to carbon-free energy sources are examples of steps in the right direction. While this may require investments on short term, I am convinced it will pay back in time in terms of healthier people (lower healthcare costs), cleaner and eventually cheaper energy sources, efficient use of resources, and a positive emission trading balance.
Support of immigrants – Making immigrants feeling at home in this country requires creating possibilities for them to be employed and otherwise involved in the society. Active involvement improves the language skills, networking, and self-deployment of immigrants and makes them part of this society. Finnish language teaching must be arranged more efficiently, so that everyone can participate without delay.
Proactive and available healthcare – The importance of healthcare services has been underlined in this Corona time, but the necessity of improving its efficiency and availability have been evident already longer. Long queues to get urgent care should not exist. The quality of elderly care, also when provided by third parties, should be ensured. But foremost healthcare should move towards health management; coaching people to stay healthy or improve health and detecting needs for care early. Changes towards this proactive and more efficient health care provision system can be facilitated by means of technology (subject of my work at VTT), but the paradigm shift requires new medical working practices and will always rely on the people providing the care.
Ensuring the wellbeing of children through hobbies – Hobbies play an important role in the lives of children. Hobbies like different sports and cultural hobbies are not just a nice pastime, but also of vital importance to develop the children’s social skills and feeling of responsibility. Children of disadvantaged families are in danger of being left out because of high fees of clubs. The city should support children’s hobbies in such a way, that everyone can afford to participate.
Developing the societal involvement of companies – Companies should become more aware of their position in the society – both as provider – e.g. employer, tax payer, buyer of services – as well as receiver – infrastructure user, buyer of manpower and user of natural resources. It is important to develop models how companies could take better care of their societal responsibilities. Particularly large companies and the public sector could together with the city develop ways to employ people who have for various reasons been without employment.
Development of public transport – For the durable and ecological development of the city it is of prime importance that the public transport operates well and affordably. Now that the step was made to invest in the tram system, it should be expanded to its full potential to be truly useful. In addition to the mainly centre-oriented bus traffic and starting tram connections, also bus routes connecting the outskirts of the city are needed. Rail transport is to be developed in an economically responsible way. Public transport should be less expensive, so that it is a real alternative for using the car. For the less well-off like elderly, unemployed, students and children, public transport could even be free.
Realising local democracy – Looking for ways to activate people to improve their own area both by organising volunteer work as well as the possibility to stay in contact with the planners and decision makers, who are capable of affecting the larger projects in the way indicated by the locals.
Developing the role of elderly people in the society – Elderly people can be a valuable asset in the society – also after their working life. They can still offer their wisdom and experience in many facets of life. In addition to local activities, they can also be involved at schools to help with activities for which currently no resources are available. Naturally also taking care of the quality of life of elderly people and improving the services are important. To tackle the challenges of an ageing society and to guarantee the wellbeing of elderly people, the development of means for living at home longer will become crucial.
Improving the conditions for new and small companies – In a changing and globalising market the importance of creating new innovative companies is evident. They are likely to develop to be the employers of the future and the economical foundation of the society.