ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT HELSINKI

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS PROGRAM

Let's save Helsinki's nearby nature and cultural environments!

Helsinki’s urban structure includes the local nature that is dear to the residents, natural sites of national value, as well as great cultural environments. Our beloved hometown must be developed sustainably and with the environment in mind. Make Helsinki a pioneer in urban development. A city where nature and ecology are an important part of the city’s identity and structure.

Helsinki’s development based on the idea of ​​unlimited growth must be changed in a more realistic direction, and planning must be based on up-to-date and comprehensive research data. It requires bringing a new kind of thinking to the city’s decision-making.

On this page, you can read about Keskiistöliike Helsinki’s views on the development of the city’s various industries.

Urban environment industry

Helsinki must stop building nearby forests and parks and protect cultural and historical buildings and environments.

Preparations for the new master plan must begin immediately

The 2016 master plan has led to many grievances and contradictions in different parts of Helsinki, both in the suburbs and in the city center. Deliberate oversizing of construction, the use of interpretable pixels in maps, and the expression of building rights without a ceiling were already serious errors from the outset. Later, the very likely permanent change in working life brought about by teleworking has reduced the need for office space, and it also affects Helsinki’s population development. Therefore, the general formula needs to be substantially changed. The development of the city must take into account the general plan for the joint Helsinki Metropolitan Area, which is required by section 46 a of the Land Use and Construction Act. The new master plan and the strategy for the next term of office must be based on the needs of man and nature.

  • Cultural-historical environments must not be tarnished by further construction, as they are an integral part of our national identity.
  • Suburbing the suburbs must be done with caution if necessary, as at the same time the greenery, comfort and historical distinctiveness of the area are easily destroyed.
  • The usable building stock should not be demolished in order to obtain a larger building right, as it is contrary to ecological principles.
  • The seashores should not be filled and built, as they are an integral part of Helsinki’s maritime atmosphere and comfort.

The interaction between residents and planners needs to be strengthened

The city must take genuine account of the views of the residents, and cooperation between the city’s industries must be developed.

We demand that the city of Helsinki strive for carbon neutrality by 2030

It is necessary to find out how the goal of carbon neutrality has been achieved in construction activities, and the climate impact of construction must also be taken into account nationwide.

Biodiversity

For its part, the City of Helsinki must implement Finland’s goal of halting the loss of biodiversity. The principles and practices of safeguarding and sustainable use of biodiversity must be integrated into all city activities.

  • In parks and yards, natural diverse sites and the use of nature-based solutions should be increased. For example, replacing lawns with meadow or keto vegetation increases biodiversity.
  • In forests and wooded areas, the main goal of management should be to systematically increase diversity in accordance with the Lumo program.
  • We demand that measures be taken in the management of forests in accordance with the objective.
  • Helsinki must set an example and introduce the main goal of Finland’s national biodiversity strategy: a broad change in the operating environment, ie ecological transition. In this way, Helsinki, as an urban environment, can support halting the loss of biodiversity by 2030.
  • The natural values ​​of water bodies must be safeguarded. Much of the Helsinki metropolitan shoreline is built or under human pressure. Ecosystems have deteriorated and biodiversity is under threat.  The goal must be clean coastal waters and rivers, as well as diverse coastal and archipelago nature. When increasing the recreational use of the archipelago, biodiversity must be safeguarded.

Social and health industry

The effects of the corona have been tangible and have hit the specific groups hardest and placed a strain on health care. Helsinki must be able to take exceptional circumstances into account, and special attention must be paid to correcting the effects of the corona during the forthcoming term. 

Helsinki must maintain the level of service and guarantee good health services for everyone, regardless of income level. Social and health services must be mainly organized by the municipality. Helsinki must be a city where Local Services are really close. Primary health care services such as health centers as well as preventive services such as counseling should be sprinkled around the city so that people have a low threshold to seek help. The services must be implemented in a high-quality manner, listening to the residents. 

Health services can be developed by investing in prevention. It has been studied to be most effective in targeting children and young people. Linking environmental and natural values to social and health services must be taken seriously. Highlighting the importance of the local environment in social health services is important preventive work. Culture also plays a role in health care. In Helsinki, could a doctor prescribe exercise or culture to promote health? This is the case in the UK and Japan, for example.

Ensuring humane living conditions for all residents from baby to elderly. Price should not be the only significant factor in arranging services. Access to appropriate housing for the elderly and mental health patients needs to be enhanced. Now the delays are months, even years. 

Home care for the elderly must be developed in an innovative way, as resources are reduced due to the shortage of carers. The importance of community must also be emphasized, for example in community housing for people of different ages. The resilience of carers must also be supported in every way. 

Jobs in the SOTE sector must be humane. It is easier for a nurse and a doctor to do quality and effective work when they know their patients and their conditions well. They need to be able to focus on the work they are trained for. Health centers and counseling centers should also be adequately hired. support staff (secretaries, equipment custodians, cleaners, etc.) to make operations efficient and profitable. Counseling and school health care must be able to work in a multi-professional way, for example with early childhood education, teachers and child protection, so that families in need of help can be helped in time. More resources are needed for counseling, child protection and early childhood education, and for schools. 

Wage levels in the social and health sectors need to be raised in order to provide them with a more skilled workforce. Salary should be in line with work responsibility. Workers must also be recruited from abroad, and efforts must be made to train immigrants to become carers. Care is taken to ensure that there are enough care workers so that the work can be done in an ethically sustainable way. The city of Helsinki must be a good employer, and the salary must be able to cope in Helsinki despite the high price level. The city could also support the survival of workers in critical sectors with employment housing allocated to them.

In Helsinki, SOTE services have lagged behind as the population has grown. You can read daily about how children and young people are doing poorly and how there are not enough services for the elderly and mental health patients.

Throughout the country, there has been a shortage of nurses, nurses, early childhood teachers and social workers for years, and training places have not been filled due to low pay and poor working conditions in the sectors. Helsinki has also been an arrogant employer for decades, which means that the idea has been that everyone wants to work in Helsinki, there is no need to be attracted. Many professions have paid and are paid in Helsinki less than neighboring municipalities: e.g. doctors, social workers, psychologists, nurses and firefighters. However, the work here is heavier than in the provinces because the workload is larger and the work tasks more challenging (metropolitan phenomena). Hundreds of permanent jobs in the SOTE sector are open in Helsinki, but many are currently open elsewhere in Finland.

The City of Helsinki has become aware of the problem, and the City Personnel Report 2019 identifies the following ways to secure the workforce in the sectors: developing the competitiveness of pay, flexible working hours and employment housing, valuing work skills vs. formal qualifications. However, these means are completely inadequate and helplessly late, at least the means have not yet materialized in any way. Wages have not risen and rents for employee housing have continued to rise. For example, almost 50% of summer residents in the city of Helsinki are absent from home care now at the beginning of May.

Now, just before the election, we have read in the press how to increase mental health services in Helsinki: for example, the City of Helsinki will set up a new child psychiatric unit in connection with family centers and add Mieppi points (HS 21.4.2021), and introduce the Therapy Guarantee (HS 6.5.2021). Nothing is written about where to get employees for these services. Leading psychiatric experts in the Turku region wrote an audience department article on how psychotherapy tries to make up for the lack of resources in psychiatric outpatient care, and how far too little investment has been made in psychiatry for a dozen years (Satakunnan Kansa 1.5.2021). In Helsinki, the situation is the same, if not worse.

For years, the biggest shortcoming in the City of Helsinki’s service system has been the lack of service housing in relation to those in need. Elderly and mental health patients have to queue for up to years for a service accommodation in a place that is not suitable for them: at home, in a hospital or in temporary accommodation. In other words, a person has been made a SAS proposal (survey, evaluation, placement) and has been identified at the time as needing supported housing, but in reality he or she will get in line and will not be able to get a service accommodation until a couple of years later. Prior to this, he will be supported at home in every way if he has a home and is able to be there. THL has already stated in 2019 that the more accurate the amount of institutional care in the municipality, the better the employees will be able to cope with both institutional care and home care. In such a severe labor shortage, many types of service housing should be added rapidly. There is simply not enough skilled staff for home care.

Education and training industry

The quality of basic education must not be cut and the activities of local schools must not be reduced. The workload of teachers must be kept reasonable and resilience and occupational health must be given greater consideration. Sufficient resources need to be added to special needs education, and the benefits and drawbacks of inclusion need to be addressed through an objective study. In principle, school bullying must be resolved fresh and on the ground. Multilingualism and multiculturalism need to be better taken into account. We cannot afford to exclude anyone from society.

Early childhood education units and group sizes should be small enough and kindergartens should be implemented as local services.

The environment must be closely linked to education, and climate change and biodiversity loss can be brought to the fore in a solution-oriented way, taking into account all aspects of sustainable development. Saving green spaces near the school and kindergarten is important so that teaching and outdoor activities can be carried out in a variety of ways in the immediate area.

Tenders for construction, canteen and IT activities related to education and training must be organized in such a way that costs and savings are calculated realistically and over a sufficiently long period of time. The winners of the competitions must offer their services responsibly, ensuring the ethical treatment of employees and the quality of work.

Culture and leisure industry

Helsinki is the capital of Finland and thus also the capital of culture. Adhere to our cultural values ​​and continue to invest in culture. During the corona, cultural workers were forgotten. We cannot accept this. The sector that is the foundation of a civilized society must not be cut.

Culture and art belong to everyone, regardless of income level, age, place of residence. Helsinki must also organize cultural services multiculturally and with linguistic minorities in mind.

 Accessibility must be taken into account in cultural and leisure services. Local services include

  • Public art
  • Libraries
  • Possibility of independent exercise
  • Bookable exercise facilities, such as school gyms
  • Meeting and hobby facilities for young people

The city must guarantee equal opportunities for physical activity and sports, and maintain a network of services that reaches all city residents. Adequate low-threshold exercise opportunities must be provided. Sport must be more than just a competitive sport. Junior exercise must also be possible for the poor.