MDI leads the co-creative process of developing, piloting and sharing practices for wellbeing in Sustainable Cities

The challenge bundle work is the cross-cutting co-development of the “Sustainable City” programme, co-ordinated by the Ministry of the Environment, with the aim of producing and sharing information, knowledge and solutions to the challenges linking cities’ management and practice in the area of leading work towards sustainability. The work produces concrete development measures, new ways of doing things and peer learning.

Kymmenia polkupyöriä parkissa koulun pihassa.

The work is based on peer-learning, encouragement and trying new things

The main goal of the challenge work is to engage in peer-learning, developing and testing new ways of doing things and the promotion of concrete development measures. The work is organised around co-creation sessions, producing information on and solutions to the challenges that link the common management and practices of cities and is built on peer learning, encouraging and experimenting with new ways of doing things, while aiming at the production of concrete development actions for the local communities involved.

In the context of the work, the team listens to and provides opportunities for action and avenues of influence to networks and actors relevant to the topic, close cooperation is carried out and practical interaction is supported in order to utilise the information collected in various projects, further enabling learning, scaling and impact.

In the working plan, the team specifically invests time and energy into solving those cross-cutting challenges that combine the need to address sustainability themes with the strengthening of cooperation both between municipalities and within them, as well as between cities and the state.

There are, initially, five municipalities involved in the wellbeing challenges, constituting the core team, namely Imatra, Jyväskylä Karkkila, Kuopio and Lahti.

Sustainable urban planning alongside wellbeing

Parallel to the wellbeing challenges there is a similar initiative and co-creation process taking place on sustainable urban planning. In this project group Espoo, Helsinki, Karkkila, Kemi, Oulu and Turku are involved. In both groups, other local authorities may also be invited to join in the ideation, co-creation and piloting processes.  

The two parallel projects are implemented by a consortium, where MDI and Demos Helsinki are the project leaders (MDI for the wellbeing theme, Demos for the urban planning theme), the wellbeing challenges work is supported with additional expert input from a team at the National Institute of Health with support coordinated by Paula Saikkonen at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). 

Work will continue until November 2023.

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The Sustainable Cities -programme is coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment, with the aim of accelerating the sustainable development of cities and municipalities in cooperation with ministries, municipal authorities and other parties interested in sustainable development. For more information: