ArticleJune 1, 2021 · 2 min read time
Not sure where to take things you own but no longer need? Would you like to find a good book, but cannot remember when your nearby library closes? If you live in the Helsinki area, you should look up the metropolitan area Service Map which now has circular economy services included.
Although online sales keep growing and people consume more and more entertainment virtually, most of our lives still happen in a world of physical items and services. At the same time, our consumption habits are changing. The youth these days, and myself in their wake, move around with shared-use vehicles, such as city bikes, scooters and cars – depending on the situation.
For many, recycling is also a way to make a difference: buying second-hand clothes from flea markets or social media groups reduces the load on the environment. On the other hand, circular economy is often also a very economical solution. With the exception of collectibles, second-hand goods are less expensive.
The city of Helsinki also promotes circular economy. Implementing emission reductions and circular economy projects in cooperation with businesses and residents is part of its strategy. The Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 - Action Plan includes roughly twenty measures that promote circular economy. Examples include drawing up a circular and sharing economy roadmap, creating a digital platform for circular economy and promoting library services as a considerable resource for the sharing economy.
Now, Service Map makes it easier to access the circular and sharing economy services of the Helsinki Metropolitan area. Finding information, such as the opening hours of recycling centres and flea markets is easy with the map. The overarching idea behind the Service Map is accessibility: as a public digital service it must be usable to everyone as widely as possible. The map works for every user, regardless of their motor or cognitive limitations. More about the design and development of Service Map in our success story.
Service Map receives an honorary mention at Grand one
People often think that accessibility measures are meant to make life easier for special groups. However, an accessible online service is more straight-forward and easier to use for everyone. That is why we were delighted to see the Service Map receive an honorary mention in the Grand One competition for Finnish digital media works. One of the features of the website that the jury highlighted was presenting a vast amount of information in an easy format.
While it is fantastic to receive recognition in a competition, service development is a continuous process that will never end. The introduction of circular economy services to the Service Map feels like a meaningful step. It is a delight to do design work for a city that shares our understanding on the importance of sustainable digital development.
Photos: City of Helsinki