A magazine for Espoo residents 4 2020
will be reformed
yield influence to be
Plenty of things
to do this winter
trial in Kalajärvi
focus on people
In the editorial,
Jukka Mäkelä takes
a stand on issues of
current interest in the
City of Espoo.
Jukka Mäkelä is the Mayor of Espoo.
The coronavirus situation in the Helsinki
Metropolitan Area and Espoo has deteriorated
in recent weeks. Worrying statistics from the
rest of Europe also give cause for special caution.
We know that the coronavirus spreads
easily, and therefore it is important that you
protect yourself properly.
This year, you should skip office Christmas
parties and any other big year-end parties or
celebrate them virtually. For example, the
City of Espoo’s traditional Independence Day
concert will be arranged as a streamed online
It is important to wear a face mask. Wear
mask, for example, in public transport and all
It is advisable to get tested for the coronavirus
even if you only have mild symptoms.
And if you are ill or have been exposed to
the virus, you must absolutely stay at home.
By following the instructions, you take care
of your own health and that of your loved
ones and also of all other people. We will get
through this together.
Mayor of Espoo
3 | Calendar and picks
Write down the key dates.
8 | Theme
The joint social and health services
programme of Western Uusimaa.
14 | At your service
Jani Suomalainen provides
support for young people.
15 | What’s on
Christmas is on its way
20 | Right now
Upper secondary school education
will be reformed in the autumn.
23 | Encounters
24 | Pearl
Villa Elfvik guides you to nature.
26 | Espoo people
In Kalajärvi, services are nearby.
28 | Swedish in Espoo
Reformed curriculum for general
upper secondary schools.
30 | We
Will we have a white Christmas?
31 | My Espoo
A village association
with long traditions.
30 Nov and 14 Dec
The housing advisor of the youth
housing association Pääkaupunkiseudun
nuorisoasunnot ry can be met at the
Leppävaara service point of Ohjaamotalo
One-Stop Guidance Centre without an
appointment on 30 November and 14
December between 12:00 and 16:00.
The housing advisor helps with all kinds of
housing-related issues and situations.
Espoo City Council
meeting starts at 17:30.
You can follow the
meeting live at
Donate blood at the Sello Hall on Monday 30 November between 14:00 and
19:00. You are welcome to donate blood if you are healthy, between the ages
of 18 and 70 and weigh at least 50 kilograms. All new donors must be under
60 years of age. Take an official ID with you. Call the free donor info number
0800 0 5801 for additional information. Further information: veripalvelu.
fi and sovinkoluovuttajaksi.fi. The Blood Service continues to operate even
in exceptional circumstances. Pandemic precautions are in place for blood
donation. Donating blood does not lower your immunity.
8 Dec and
Apartment search info in the
Aalto room of the Iso Omena
Service Centre on 8 December
and in the lobby of Adult Social
Work on Komentajankatu on 22
December between 13:00 and
15:00. Service provided on a first
come, first served basis. These
information events are intended
for customers who need help
and support in applying for an
apartment and filling out housing
applications. The advisors do not
provide housing or write any letters
of recommendation or statements.
If you need an interpreter, you
can contact the housing
advisors by e-mail at
The spring semester
in basic and general
Check the calendar
for the main events
and key dates of
Joint applications to vocational education and
general upper secondary education are to be
submitted between 23 February and 23 March.
The electronic application form is available at
www.opintopolku.fi (Finnish) or www.studieinfo.
fi (Swedish). You can use the same service
to practise filling out the form before the
application period begins.
Publication of the
next issue of Espoo
MAGAZINE FOR ESPOO RESIDENTS
Public bulletin to all households. Feedback and suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher City of Espoo, PO Box 12, 02070 City of Espoo, 09 81 621, espoo.fi, email@example.com
Editor-in-chief Satu Tyry-Salo, Communications Director Editors Omnipress Oy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Editor Kimmo Kallonen Layout Oona Kavasto/Hank Printed by Punamusta
Distribution SSM Notifications email@example.com Cover Timo Porthan ISSN 1798-8438
According to the 2021 budget proposal, total tax funding − tax revenues and central
government transfers combined − is estimated to be lower than in 2020, as the state’s
coronavirus compensation decreases. The growth in operating expenses will exceed tax
funding by far, and the result is estimated to be negative by EUR 43 million in 2021.
will launch its
at the turn of
” We are still
Espoo – Esbo
Posts from different parts of
the city and news from various
City of Espoo actors.
Espoo Marketing is now Enter Espoo
THE company that orchestrates the
largest innovation hub in the Nordic
countries and markets tourism is
now known as Enter Espoo. As
a marketing company owned by
the City of Espoo, Enter Espoo is
tasked with attracting companies,
investments and visitors to Espoo
and helping operators succeed in
innovation and tourism ecosystems.
The company’s services have
been developed to help companies
operating in the tourism industry
and innovation environment find
partners, customers and opportunities
for growth. Enter Espoo aims to
generate more jobs, tax revenues
and sustainable growth in Espoo,
for both the company’s partners
and Finland as a whole.
The purpose of the name
change and the clarification of
the business identity is to renew
and crystallize the company’s role
between the innovation ecosystem
and the various actors in the City
of Espoo. The new name better
describes the realisation of the
goals set in the company and City of
Espoo’s strategy, the Espoo Story.
“We are now known by our new
name and image, but we are still the
same reliable and accessible expert
partner,” says Jaana Tuomi, CEO
of Enter Espoo.
Enter Espoo is also currently
building a new enterespoo.fi website,
to be published in full at the
turn of the year.
Timely updates and quick
responses. Bulletins, answers to
questions and discussions.
Great moments, events and
landscapes through the eyes of
Paper sport and cultural
vouchers will become a
thing of the past
PAPER sport and cultural vouchers, such as
Smartum, Edenred and Tyky, will no longer
be accepted as means of payment at the
City of Espoo’s service and sales points after
31 December 2020. In the future, sport and
cultural benefits can be paid for by electronic
means of payment, such as mobile phone apps
or charge cards.
Modern, electronic means of payment are
more cost-effective and their use reduces the
amount of manual work. Espoo aims to use digital
tools in its operations. Electronic means of
payment are already very commonly used when
paying for sport and cultural services.
4 A magazine for Espoo residents
In this section of the
magazine, we introduce
interesting sites all
Espoo residents have
free access to.
Träskända oak tree
THE Träskända oak tree, Espoo’s thickest
single-trunked tree, can be found
in a central location by the river in the
proximity of intersecting outdoor trails
in the Träskända Manor Park. The giant
oak tree’s circumference is about 5.5
metres, the height is about 22 metres,
and the diameter of the crown is about
28 metres. The oak tree is believed to
be over 300 years old.
Due to the harsh winters of the
late 1980s, some of the tree’s large
branches dried out. The places where
the branches were sawn off can still be
seen on the tree trunk.
The history of the Träskända Manor
goes back more than 200 years. The
most famous owner of the manor was
Aurora Karamzin, an influential figure
who lived in the area in the 19th century.
You can find all
in Finland from
oak, wych elm,
lime, maple and
Q & A
In this section of the
magazine, we answer
the most often asked
questions received by
the city at the time the
Why have the streets not
been gritted yet?
Sometimes gritting is delayed due to our limited
amount of equipment, as there is quite a large
number of streets and roads that need maintenance.
Or, gritting may have been done, but as
the weather gets warmer, the grit sinks through
ice, rendering it ineffective against slipperiness.
The municipality can promote safety by gritting
the streets within a reasonable time and pedestrians
by choosing non-slip footwear.
Why are cycle and pedestrian paths
not ploughed by the morning?
Why are cars favoured over cyclists?
Carriageways are ploughed first. This way, the
snow that flows from the road onto the cycle
and pedestrian paths can be cleared away. If the
pavements were ploughed first, the work would
need to be done again as the ploughing of the
carriageways would throw the snow back onto
the pavement. When there is snow on the roads,
it causes more accidents than the same amount
of snow on the pavement.
Why does the city plough
my plot entrance shut?
The masses of snow ploughed away must go
somewhere. When there is already a snowbank
by the side of the road, the snow spreads across
the plot entrance. There are more than 25,000
plot entrances in Espoo. Clearing one of them
is a small thing, but if we wanted to clear all of
them, we would need a whole lot more equipment,
and thus winter maintenance would
require many millions of euros more of taxpayers’
money. In road maintenance, the duties are
divided between the property owners and the
city. The city ploughs the carriageways, while the
property owner is responsible for removing the
banks of snow resulting from ploughing at the
plot entrance. The division of duties is defined in
the Act on the Maintenance, Cleaning and Clearing
of Public Areas.
In road maintenance,
the duties are divided
owners and the
The City of Espoo’s investment programme totals EUR 2.5 billion in 2021–2030. In addition
to schools and day care centres, the programme includes traffic route and public transport
projects, such as the Jokeri Light Rail, City Rail Link and metro development corridor, which are
needed because of the growth of the city and the development of the urban structure.
Agreement on the design and
construction of the City Rail Link
THE Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, the City of Espoo
and the City of Kauniainen will make an agreement on the
construction of the City Rail Link in Espoo. The agreement
approved by the City Board will provide for, among other
things, a more detailed division of costs, execution and timetable
for the construction of the rail line.
The parties to the agreement agreed that the City Rail Link
will be built as a co-funded project in accordance with the
railway plan approved in 2015. The state and local authorities
will divide the execution costs of the project, EUR 275 million,
fifty-fifty between them. Espoo’s share of the overall costs is
40 per cent and that of Kauniainen is 10 per cent.
The European Commission has granted EUR 11 million of
funding for the planning of the construction project. Planning
accounts for EUR 22 million of the total costs. EU funding will
also be sought for the construction of the City Rail Link.
The City Rail Link is part of the improvement of the public
transport system in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. It will
enhance the punctuality of commuter traffic in Karjaa, Kirkkonummi
and Espoo, as well as help the long-distance traffic to
and from Turku run smoother.
In practice, the City Rail Link consists of two additional
tracks to be built between Leppävaara and Kauklahti. Two
tracks will be used for long-distance and high-speed commuter
services and two for frequent local traffic.
The construction planning of the City Rail Link is expected
to begin in February 2021 at the latest. The construction work,
on the other hand, is projected to start during 2022. The estimated
year of completion of the rail link is 2028.
Arkkitehdit Anttila & Rusanen Oy / Ramboll Finland Oy
The wooden apartment building
plots in Finnoo attracted interest
THE City Board’s Business and Competitiveness
Subcommittee decided to
sell two plots in the Finnoo-Djupsundsbäcken
town plan area for corporate
wooden apartment block development.
The buyer, selected from among 13
buyer candidates, is a group consisting
of Suomen Puukerrostalot Oy, Lindbäcks
Group Ab and Kallioinen Yhtiöt.
The purchase price is EUR 4.8 million.
Olli Isotalo, Director of Technical
and Environment Services, is delighted
that real estate developers are widely
interested in wood construction and the
“Despite the challenging coronavirus
epidemic, this is a sign of
confidence that the apartments to be
completed will sell. All in all, the pace
plan of Djupsundsbäcken
the east. The
sold are located
in the area
at the top of
of construction in Espoo has remained
high in spite of the uncertain situation,”
The western area of Djupsundsbäcken
in Finnoo is located near the
sea and the Kaitaa metro station, with
its southern and western edges bordering
on the existing residential areas in
Kaitaa. There are existing school and
day care services in the area. In accordance
with the City Council’s decision,
Finnoo will be developed as a model
area of sustainable development.
The first apartments are currently
being built in Finnoo. The first parking
facility in the area is also under construction,
to be completed towards the
end of 2022. The metro is expected to
start operating in Finnoo in 2023.
Remember to wear a mask
IN the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa
(HUS), the use of face masks is recommended for
persons aged 15 or over on public transport, in
public spaces (such as shops, shopping centres
and service centres) and at public events, in upper
secondary schools, higher education institutions,
youth work and during recreational activities. It
is also recommended that social and health care
personnel wear masks in patient and client work.
The use of face masks is also recommended
in all other workplaces, especially in situations
where people meet each other to a wider extent
and when sufficient safe distances, when it is not
possible to maintain safe distances, take turns
using spaces or implement other hygiene and
safety arrangements. Parents are recommended
to wear face masks at maternity and child health
clinics and when coming to early childhood
education and care facilities for example when
dropping off and picking up their children.
In addition, the city requires everyone aged 15
or over to wear a face mask in the indoor sports
facilities managed by the city. The face mask
should be worn at all other times except during
exercise. The obligation applies to all indoor
sports, including the use of school sports facilities
for club activities and hobbies. Indoor skating
rinks it is considered justified to require the use of
face masks in indoor sports facilities.
The use of face masks is recommended in all
leisure facilities. However, based on epidemiological
assessments, it is considered that it is justified
to require the use of a face mask in indoor sports
facilities instead of just recommending it.
6 A magazine for Espoo residents
Based on preliminary data, the population growth rate in 2020 has
been considerably slower than in the previous year. However, based on
projections, the population of Espoo will continue to grow in 2021–2030
by an average rate of approximately 4,500 additional inhabitants per year.
Sorting to become easier in spring
THE sorting of waste will become easier
for an increasing number of Espoo
residents. In spring, the collection of
biowaste, cardboard, glass and plastic
packaging and small metal items will
begin in all properties with at least
five apartments. The Helsinki Region
Environmental Services Authority HSY
will deliver the necessary containers
to the properties during April-May.
In small properties with 5 to 9
apartments, packaging waste and
small metal items are mainly collected
in a space-saving four-compartment
waste container. In addition, the properties
will be provided with a biowaste
In addition to the current collection
containers, properties with 10 to 19
apartments will get separate containers
for sorting small metal items, glass
and plastic packaging. Properties
bigger than this will start collecting
plastic packaging if they do not yet
have a collection container for them.
As more waste is sorted, the
amount of mixed waste decreases
and the number or size of mixed waste
containers can be reduced or the
containers can be emptied at longer
The change is based on the
reformed waste management regulations
of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area
and Kirkkonummi, which, in terms of
sorting, will enter into force next year.
Iso Omena maternity and child
health clinic and mental health services
join forces to help parents
THE Iso Omena Service Centre’s
maternity and child health clinic and
mental health and substance abuse
services have created a joint service
model. The new model makes it easier
for a public health nurse at the maternity
and child health clinic to consult a
psychologist if the nurse is especially
concerned about the well-being of a
new parent or a parent-to-be.
There may be concern about a
parent’s mental well-being in general,
or the client may need conversational
support related to a specific issue,
such as termination of pregnancy, stillbirth,
miscarriage or infertility treatments.
After the nurse has consulted
As more waste
is sorted, there
will be less mixed
the psychologist, the psychologist will
contact the client if necessary. Any
follow-up plans are made in cooperation
with all the parties involved.
The service model was selected as
the winner in the innovation competition
of the Iso Omena Service Centre,
which was organised for the second
time. The competition was inspired
by the Mayor’s city-wide innovation
competition aimed at improving
services for the benefit of residents.
The innovation competition is a practical
example of the multi-professional
development work carried out at the
An artist and preschoolers creating
an Espoo-themed book together
THIS autumn, the City of Espoo Cultural Unit will produce an Espoothemed
coloured picture book, Kurkkaa Espooseen (Peek into Espoo),
illustrated by illustrator and graphic artist Carlos Da Cruz. The book
will be made in collaboration with pre-primary education groups in
Espoo. The book will feature drawings of each urban centre in Espoo,
as well as illustrations of the northern parts of Espoo and an overview
of the city.
The images in the Kurkkaa Espooseen book will not have any text,
which will leave room for new stories. Children can comment on the
illustrations and request for changes and additions to them.
“Making a book is a wonderful example of how cultural education
can be used for enabling experimental making of art. In Espoo, we
have long and good experiences of the use of different cultural education
models, such as KULPS culture and sports path and Culture Call,
says Cultural Director Susanna Tommila.
Inspired by a survey made earlier, the illustrator first creates blackand-white
sketches, which are then made available to every pre-primary
education group in Espoo.
In their groups, children can study the pictures, talk about the
thoughts they evoke and, for example, make excursions in the surrounding
neighbourhood to explore the sites they find important.
Children’s thoughts are written down and used not only for making the
book but also for updating the Espoo Story.
The book, to be compiled from material created in collaboration
between groups of children and the illustrator, will be published in
December. It will be distributed to all children in Espoo born in 2017
and 2018 in connection with their 4-year appointment at the child
health clinic in 2021 and 2022. In addition, the book will be delivered to
all pre-primary education groups, municipal early childhood education
groups and libraries.
the sketches for
the picture book
The municipalities of
Western Uusimaa have
started the work on
merging their health
and social services with
a view to the national
health and social
Text Tiina Parikka Photos Timo Porthan and Eemeli Sarka
In the health and social services reform in the
municipalities of Western Uusimaa, customer
experience is the starting point for everything.
Smooth provision of services is in the best
interests of all parties involved.
point of view,
the health and
social services of
appear as a
units is easier.
The previous government’s model
for health and social services was
criticised for being too focused on
administrative issues. Now the
focus has been set on people, the
Joining its forces with nine Western
Uusimaa municipalities, Espoo has started to
build a joint health and social services model
in accordance with the policies of the Ministry
of Social Affairs and Health. The municipalities
will be developing the services together,
regardless of whether the national health and
social services reform takes place or not.
“In our own work, we have also examined
the content of services in addition to administration,”
says Markus Syrjänen, Director
of Administration and Development in
Programme Director Jutta Tikkanen
emphasises that structural changes must be
planned in such a way that they enable customer-oriented
Customer orientation means combining
services so that the customer always gets a
response based on their first contact, no matter
which party they are in contact with.
“Currently, the various actors involved
do not know each other sufficiently well.
In many cases, it requires several contacts
before your own case moves forward. Some
people get tired of seeking help and drop out,”
Elina Jaakovlew-Markus admits.
Jaakovlew-Markus works as manager of
health services development in Espoo.
Syrjänen points out that, in the future,
health and social services staff will take over
the responsibility. The customers do not even
need to be aware of what services are available
for their problem or what they need in
the first place.
A rational approach in the initial phase
saves both the customer’s time and the service
Clarity to digital services. The goal is that
customers would increasingly make first
contact through digital channels. A lot of
8 A magazine for Espoo residents
do not need
to know what
what they need
in the first place.
cannot use public
more about the
background work has been done to enhance
the usability and clarity of such services.
When, in the future, routine matters, such
as appointment booking, are managed digitally,
it will free up resources for things that
require special attention.
On the other hand, it will also leave more
time for providing telephone service for
customers who are not familiar with digital
“However, not all people can be served
or all things managed digitally, so physical
encounters are also needed,” Jaakovlew-
Markus points out.
The internal functions of health and social
services professionals are an equal target of
“When we have uniform systems and
the staff know how to best use them, they
have more time for encountering people,”
Everybody wins. When services are provided
in large service entities, the provision
of special expertise improves. Instead of
the customer needing to travel to another
location to get a specific service, the primary
nurse or contact person can consult a specialist,
the specialist can rotate in different
units or the service can be provided digitally.
“Only in exceptional cases the customer
may need to travel further to get some special
service,” Syrjänen promises.
One example of such a case are the services
that all Western Uusimaa municipalities
provide for their Swedish-speaking residents.
However, the resources are limited,
especially in smaller municipalities.
“When services are managed jointly, we
can offer a wider range of services to everyone,”
In the future, digital services will enable
encountering the customer more often along
the whole service path.
New kinds of centres. Although the health
and social services reform is not so much
about physical facilities, they are also a question
that needs to be considered. For the
Greater Leppävaara and Espoonlahti areas,
such planning has already begun.
“In both areas, a natural demand for new
facilities has arisen due to existing repair
needs,” Jaakovlew-Markus says.
There is no need to get worried about services
disappearing. In accordance with the
City of Espoo service structure, services will
continue to be available in all urban centres
10 A magazine for Espoo residents
Espoo put its transport services out to
tender together with other municipalities
in Western Uusimaa. In the near future, the
services previously managed by Lähitaksi
will be transferred to a new call centre. The
vehicles carrying out transport services
were also put out to tender at the same
“The taxi service and the driver that
people are used to may also change,” says
Kari Sirviö from Espoon Logistics.
Transport services to all corners
The service offering will not be affected
by the change.
“This is a service required by the Disability
Services Act and the Social Welfare
Act. People who are unable to use public
transport services should be offered a
replacement service,” Sirviö says.
The identification system will also
change as the transport service cards will
be removed from use. In the future, a photo
ID will be used for identification.
“In the new system, all transport service
customers have their own profile. This way,
we will immediately know what kind of a
vehicle the customer needs. At the customer’s
consent, it will also be possible to
share rides, with the customer´s consent,”
The vehicle will arrive within an hour
from booking a ride. If pre-booked, the
vehicle will arrive at the time requested by
Antero Aalto uses
regularly. “I’m concerned
about how the services
will function in the future,”
the development of
joint services in Western
Uusimaa on our
› on Facebook:
along good transport connections.
“In addition, we offer mobile services
that bring local services to those living further
away. This comes into question particularly
in the sparsely populated areas of
small municipalities. In Espoo, in physical
terms, the most distant areas from urban
centres are Kalajärvi and Viherlaakso,”
says Elina Jaakovlew-Markus.
The client knows best. Jutta Tikkanen
considers it important to consult the
users, i.e. the customers and residents, at
all stages of the process.
“We are in the process of developing
a digital channel through which we
can engage in a closer dialogue with residents,”
We are currently collecting feedback on
the online services of Leppävaara.
Tikkanen promises, however, that not
everything will be left to digital services in
this matter either. If necessary, the managers
of different projects will reach out to
their own customer groups to hear their
Life situation showing the way. The
Health and Social Services Centre refers
to all the social and health services provided
by Espoo as a whole. The plan is to
divide the services between three groups.
Children, young people and families will
form one of the groups. In the future, their
Not all people can be
served and all services
,,are also needed.
services in Espoo will be provided in Family
Centres, the first of which will be completed
in Espoon keskus by the end of 2021.
Services for seniors, on the other
hand, will be concentrated into the Life
and Living Centres. There are already
two such centres in operation in Espoo,
located in Leppävaara and Kauklahti.
In the future, services aimed at the
entire population would include not only
primary health care, but also mental
health, substance abuse treatment, physiotherapy
and adult social services.
Many people who need a lot of health
care services are also, to a significant
extent, social services clients, and vice
versa. In the new model, we want to find
a dedicated channel for these people who
need a lot of services and assign them their
own contact person who will take care of
their needs as a whole.
“Having a separate channel for them
will free up resources in general health
care and social services, and peoplewill be
spared from being bounced back and forth
between service points,” Syrjänen says.
Additional assistance for acute situations
The merger of the social and crisis emergency
services of ten municipalities in
Western Uusimaa has brought more
human resources per shift to the emergency
The scope of emergency services
includes social welfare services outside
office hours, crisis work and the readiness
to provide, for example, psychosocial
support outside office hours in the
event of a major accident.
The emergency services are contacted
approximately 1,200 times each
month. The Calls are answered by two
employees in the morning shift, six in the
evening shift and four employees at night.
“We always work in pairs. This allows
us to respond more quickly to the customers’
needs even when one of the
pairs is making a house call, for example,
somewhere at a longer distance,” says
Malena Segercrantz, Head of Western
Uusimaa Social and Crisis Emergency
Western Uusimaa has a large Swedishspeaking
population, which we can now,
thanks to the merger, serve better in their
“About a third of our staff are Swedishspeakers,”
12 A magazine for Espoo residents
“I’m a node that brings
the numerous stakeholders
of the health and social
services system together,”
says Programme Director
Jutta Tikkanen, describing
her role. She promises
to ensure that customer
experience will be at the
core of all solutions.
For the customer’s benefit
Jutta Tikkanen, who took over as
programme director in mid-September,
has currently her hands full of administrative
arrangements. Even though the
work, particularly in its early stages,
is largely about establishing cooperation
between funding providers and
municipalities, as well as building the
organisation and its various actors,
Tikkanen promises that she will not
forget the customers under the administrative
She has a solid work background
in doing so. Before becoming the
programme director, she acted as
customer experience director at the
Social and Health Services of Espoo
and as customer experience manager
in private health care companies. She
has also consulted companies on
how to switch to a customer-oriented
“I will ensure that the customer
approach is maintained in all separate
In addition, she emphasises the
comprehensiveness of well-being. Local
authorities and the third sector play a
major role in preventive work.
“Municipal educational, cultural and
sports services and relevant organisations
are important stakeholders with
whom we need to do development
work also in this project,” Tikkanen
As far as structural changes are
concerned, the project will end as
soon as the end of next year. The
development of health and social
services centres will continue until the
end of 2022. However, visible reforms
will be carried out along the way.
“This is not a plan that is being carried
out behind the scenes and will be
made public all at once. Instead, we
will be reforming the services together
with the residents and staff throughout
the project,” Tikkanen sums up.
at your service
In this section of
the magazine, meet
employees and close
partners of the
City of Espoo.
Text Mia Weckström Photo Timo Porthan
Jani Suominen, who does outreach
youth work, seeks answers to questions
that occupy young people’s minds
together with them and accompanies
them to get the services they need.
As an employee in outreach
youth work, I walk by young
people’s side and act as a link
between them and services.
Our task in outreach youth
work is to build a network and provide
comprehensive guidance on all kinds of
matters affecting young people, such as
issues related to housing, spare time, working
life, studies and mental health.
When a young person is left without a place
to study after comprehensive school or discontinues
their military or non-military service
or upper secondary education, we at outreach
youth work are informed about it. Many
people also contact us themselves, and sometimes
we get a tip from a friend or guardian.
Young people may face challenges in, for
example, finding employment. In such a case,
our task is to widen the young person’s view on
their personal strengths and abilities that they
may not have recognised themselves. We also
explain the job search process and the rules
and practices of working life to them. If necessary,
we will accompany them to where they
can get the services they need.
The most important thing in preventing
youth unemployment is that young people
find the right services at the right time and
receive personal support at an early stage.
If you don’t know where to start, feel free to
contact us or visit the service point of the
Ohjaamotalo One-Stop Guidance Centre.”
› In August, 1,942 persons
aged under 25 were unemployed.
› The increase being 927 from last year,
the figure has almost doubled.
› Espoo aims to halve unemployment
among young people
by the end of 2022.
work is based
on the voluntary
14 A magazine for Espoo residents
15 In situ 16 Things to do 19 Exercise tip
Things to do
Architecture lives with the times
The houses designed by Kaija and Heikki Siren in the
1950s still serve families today. The past and present
meet in the exhibition at the Espoo City Museum KAMU.
Tapiola could be considered
a test laboratory
for the architect
couple Kaija and
Heikki Siren. The
couple designed the
first terraced houses
in the area at a time when terraced
housing was making its first entry
into Finland. At the same time, we
started talking about suburban
“The building culture of the 1950s
is characterised by material shortages,
practical solutions and a rush
to get housing for a growing population.
The houses were plain and
simplified in style,” says Museum
Lecturer Tiina Hero.
The Sirens based the whole design
of their houses on structures, materials
and colour schemes. Alongside
practicality, they wanted to design
personal and beautiful homes that
as many people as possible could
“The third element was the environment.
For example, they planned
the play of natural light and dark
colours of the terraced houses on
Kontiontie in such a manner that
they blend well with the Finnish
landscape. Today, the green nature
has almost completely hidden the
houses from sight,” Hero says.
The architecture of Kaija and
Heikki Siren was very experimental.
In line with the spirit of the times,
they sought for a method of implementation
that could be reproduced.
In cooperation with Puutalot Oy,
they created wall elements that were
also used elsewhere in Finland. In
fact, the first prefabricated houses in
Finland were erected in Tapiola.
“Of course, not all experiments
were successful, and many of them
remained one-off projects,” Hero
Like other designers of the era,
the Sirens also created both unique
works of art and serial production
designed for the masses. Espoo is
the location of one of their most
renowned projects, the Otaniemi
Chapel, completed in 1957, which
has also gained international recognition.
You can explore the Sirens´ architecture
at the Espoo City Museum
KAMU until 9 January 2022. The
All and Nothing exhibition consists
of extensive visual material, scale
models and virtual experiences that
allow you to see what the terraced
houses on Kontiontie look like from
the inside today.
“Functional architecture lives
with the times,” Hero says.
Text Tiina Parikka
There were no extra square metres in the homes
of the 1950s. The two-storey terraced houses
on Kontiontie have less than 90 square metres
each. Downstairs, you will find the kitchen, living
room, hall and one extra room, which today is
often opened as an extension to the kitchen
and living room. You reach the second floor by
climbing up a beautiful spiral staircase which
gave some additional flair and ensured efficient
use of space. Upstairs, there were three small
bedrooms and a bathroom.
Where to go
Music • Visual arts ♥ Theatre ✘ For children ✓ Cinema = Espoo ♦ Something else
Read the safety
instructions for events.
Espoo Day was celebrated in August under the theme “Responsibly Together”
with more than 100 remote, independent and local events. Approximately
15,000 city residents participated in the Espoo Day events.
Theatre: The Seal
− Hylje ♥
Tapiola Hall ✱
MR. Hakkarainen is the
world’s most famous sleepwalker
who, on his nocturnal
trips, finds himself in
most strange situations.
Hakkarainen’s best friend
Masa Marsu must help him
get back home from his
night-time adventures by the
morning. The two friends
also have to investigate who
is stealing golden spoons
from the town’s residents.
The colourful characters of
the town of Tassula come to
life in this Theatre Hevosenkenkä
does not lack either quick
turns or humour. In a performance
honouring the world
created by Mauri Kunnas,
the beautiful puppets and
the abundant set offer real
eye candy for theatre lovers.
For ages 3 and over.
• Tickets and performance
AT the core of Hylje is a
nuclear family that lives by
the sea. People are fleeing
from war and other crises,
seeking shelter in Europe,
but the family has decided to
shut its door, and eyes, from
The play’s three acts each
depict events events that
take place a decade apart.
Everything circles back to
the seashore, and the family’s
The new generation theatre
makers, playwright and
dramaturg Marie Kajava and
director Riikka Oksanen, join
their forces in this Finnish
• Thu 3 Dec at 19:00–21:00,
Fri 4 Dec at 19:00–21:00
and Sat 5 Dec at
Espoo Cultural Centre,
Tickets from lippu.fi
LAURA Voutilainen, who
started her music studies
as a young girl in Lahti, has
pursued her career with
determination and ambition.
It has been
25 years since her first
recording, during which time
she has become one of the
top performers in the Finnish
music world. Laura made
her breakthrough in January
1994 when her debut
album “Laura Voutilainen”
was released. It was the
best-selling Finnish album of
1994, ending up in around
120,000 Finnish homes. The
album brought such singles
as “Muuttanut oot maailmain”,
“Kerran” and “Kyynelvirta”
to the hit lists.
Duration of the concert
70 minutes, no intermission.
• Sat 5 Dec at 20:00, Espoo
Cultural Centre, Tapiola Hall.
Tickets from lippu.fi
Remember at least these!
The performance that honours the
world created by Mauri Kunnas features
beautiful puppets and an abundant set.
The Seal − Hylje is a play about fear
that takes precedence over values, a
kind of dystopian image of the future.
1 2 3 4 5 6
The wind bands
of Juvenalia lead
their listeners to the
with joyous tones
at Sello Hall on 1
December at 18:00.
open before the concert.
The All and Nothing
exhibition features a
Learning Yard, where
you can design a
residential area and
apartment of your
dreams on Saturday
5 December at 12:00.
The Learning Yard is
suited for all ages.
The magic of
Christmas at Sello
The skilled Juvenalia
Christmas music by
known and loved
by all on Tuesday 8
December at 19:00.
The most beautiful
Accompanied by the
at the Espoo Cultural
Centre on Tuesday
22 December at
18:00. Free tickets
must be collected
in advance from
the Espoo Cultural
Pianist Ari Romppanen
in the Christmas
spirit, from Bach
to Tchaikovsky at
Centre Aurora on
10 December at
of a total of 11 buildings
located in their
original locations in
a historical cultural
buildings form the
16 A magazine for Espoo residents
Kulttuuriespoo.fi/en is an excellent website to find
plenty of information about events and Espoo-based
cultural actors in one place. The website offers tips on
concerts, exhibitions, films and theatre performances.
Jazz for Kids:
5th anniversary ✘
Timo Lassy &
Teppo Mäkynen ✱
Joensuu 1658’s long-awaited
ÖB album was released in its
entirety on 9 October.
The debut album of Timo Lassy & Teppo
Mäkynen has been winning rave reviews
ever since it was released in 2019.
Johanna and Mikko Iivanainen, and
Maria Kalaniemi and Timo Alakotila
bring Christmas spirit to Sello Hall.
THE Jazz for Kids series of
concerts celebrates its 5th
anniversary. The brilliant
jazz singer Jenny Robson
and pianist Mikael Jacobsson
perform swinging jazz
standards, evoking moods
that take you to different
dream landscapes. In honour
of the anniversary, there will
also be a surprise performer
on stage. The concert is
hosted by Hanna Heljaste.
• Sat 5 Dec at 11:00–11:45,
Espoo Cultural Centre,
Day concert ✱
THE 21st City of Espoo
Independence Day concert
will be streamed as a
pre-recorded event on 6
December starting at 14:00
at the address at espoo.fi/
The concert will feature
Espoo Big Band with Ville
Vannemaa as conductor,
and the touching pop music
interpreters Erin and Kasmir
and soprano Laura Pyrrö
as vocalists. The New Kipparikvartetti
and the Suna
School Choir, led by Tiina
Raula, will also take part in
the celebration. The concert
will be hosted by actor
• The concert recording
will be available online from
6 December 2020 to
5 January 2021.
THE Puppet Theatre Sampo’s
concert Joulu tulla jollottaa
has filled the auditoriums
and created Christmas spirit
for almost 20 years. The
endearing dog Duppaduulix,
some elf friends and musicians
will help you get into a
mood for Christmas. Music
and puppet theatre lovers of
all ages will enjoy the concert.
Singing along allowed!
Recommended for children
over 3 years of age.
Duration of performance 45
• Tue 8 Dec at 10:15–11:00,
Sello Hall. Tickets and
tel. 020 735 2235
JOENSUU 1685 releases a
new album after more than
a decade’s wait. The fulllength
album ÖB was left
unfinished when Joensuu
1685 suddenly went on a
break in 2010. When the
band returned on stage in
2018, Mikko, Markus and
Risto Joensuu also went back
to their unfinished album. ÖB
was re-recorded and partly
updated in terms of lyrics,
arrangements and compositions,
while respecting the
original vision of the album.
• Sat 12 Dec at 19:00–
20:45, Sello Hall. Tickets
SAXOPHONIST Timo Lassy
and drummer Teppo
Mäkynen are known as the
leading figures of the new
generation of Finnish jazz
that made its first appearance
in the early 2000s.
Over the years, they have
worked together in many
significant ensembles. Now
the top musicians will get on
stage as a duo for a diverse
and exciting live performance
that will feature highspirit
free improvisations and
• Wed 16 Dec at 19:00–
21:00, Sello Hall.
Tickets from lippu.fi
IN Espoo, the beloved
Seimiyö Christmas concert
is part of the wait for Christmas.
The festive atmosphere
will be created by two
top duos, singer Johanna
Iivanainen and guitarist
Mikko Iivanainen, as well
as accordion artist Maria
Kalaniemi and pianist Timo
Alakotila. The artists, who
have arranged the music
themselves, will also play
other Christmas tunes close
to their heart.
• Thu 17 Dec at
19:00–21:00, Sello Hall.
Tickets from lippu.fi
Where to go
Music • Visual arts ♥ Theatre ✘ For children ✓ Cinema = Espoo ♦ Something else
Urban Espoo offers cultural experiences 24/7. The producer is
the City of Espoo City Events and the Children’s Cultural Centre
Aurora in collaboration with various other actors. Get inspired
by culture and the city online at urbanespoo.fi.
Ella Tommila / EMMA
Aaron Heino’s sculptures play on the
tension between the masculine and
feminine. Always Workin OT’, 2018.
Ria Kataja and Minna Kivelä’s performance
“Tuula ja Pirkko – Meil on aina
Toro” is a tribute to people’s silliness.
Ella Tommila / EMMA
Experts from EMMA and the Saastamoinen
Foundation are in charge of
the design and selection of works in
the Touch exhibition.
CONDUCTOR Anja Bilhmaier
introduces the audience
to Anton Webern’s expressive
early work “Im Sommerwind”.
Oboe Concerto by Bernd
Alois Zimmermann features
Juliana Koch, the principal
oboist of the London
Symphony Orchestra, and
Brahms’ utterly romantic last
symphony will conclude the
• Fri 22 Jan at 19:00–21:00,
Espoo Cultural Centre, Tapiola
Hall. Tickets from lippu.fi
from Moscow ♦
beautiful costumes, and
enchanting music and
dance. The Swan Lake is all
this and more.
Composed by Tchaikovsky,
the Swan Lake
premiered in 1877 and has
charmed the lovers of ballet
and classical music alike.
Russian ballet, and the Swan
Lake in particular, is characterised
by a wide range of
emotions expressed without
wasting a single word, step
or tone. The classical staging,
music and dance form a common
language that is immediately
understandable to all.
• Sat 6 Feb at 19:30–23:00,
Espoo Cultural Centre, Tapiola
Hall. Tickets from lippu.fi
THE solo exhibition of sculptor
Aaron Heino (born in
1977), recipient of the Fine
Arts Academy of Finland
Prize in 2019, will be featured
at EMMA in winter
2021. Heino’s dynamic
sculptures play on the tension
between the masculine
and feminine, utilizing pop
art idiom. The exhibition
featured at EMMA consists
primarily of the artist’s new
• From 17 February 2021 to
18 April 2021, EMMA
Minttu sekä Ville
MINTTU Mustakallio and Ville
Virtanen, known from the
Finnish and international
TV, theatre and films, create
sketches, dances, stories,
speeches and songs with
accompaniment of musician
Samuli Laiho. The themes
for the songs and sketches
produced instantly using
different improvisation techniques
are requested from
the audience. Everything
happens live on stage and
only once, so every show is
different. The audience is
free to fully participate in the
show, but participation is by
no means required.
• Thu 18 Feb at 19:00–
20:15, Sello Hall.
Tickets from lippu.fi
TUULA and Pirkko from Ala-
Vittula are a virile duo with
a combined age of about
170. They do not really like
each other very much, but
for some reason they have
spent their whole lives
together. Being difficult by
nature, Tuula and Pirkko
have been left alone in coronavirus
quarantine for quite
some time ago. Therefore,
they have all the time in the
world to live their lives just as
• Premiere Thu 25 Feb at
19:00–21:00, other performance
dates Fri 26 Feb
at 19:00 and Sat 27 Feb at
19:00, Sello Hall. Tickets:
TOUCH, the Saastamoinen
updated collection exhibition,
Finnish and international art
of topical interest. The main
theme of the Touch exhibition
is humanity, and different
sections of the exhibition
address the human relationship
with the surrounding
The section opened in
autumn 2020 presents
works of art in which nature
is present in various ways.
• Always on display, EMMA
18 A magazine for Espoo residents
rinks in Espoo:
A skating area where
hockey sticks are allowed.
There are no goals.
Keski-Espoo Sports Park,
Kylävainiontie 18, 02770 Espoo
An ice rink where hockey sticks
are allowed and a separate
skating area where sticks are not
Juvanpuro 2, 02920 Espoo
A skating area where hockey
sticks are allowed.
Espoonlahti artificial ice rink
Lähdepurontie 1, 02720 Espoo
An ice rink, hockey sticks are
Leppävaara Sports Park,
An ice rink, hockey sticks
Puolarmaari, 02210 Espoo
A skating area where hockey
sticks are allowed.
Sat 30 Jan 2021
at 17:00, Espoo
For those who
love to skate
Exercising in Espoo
Winter, too, invites you
to do exercise. The
City of Espoo offers a
wide variety of exercise
opportunities with an
Text Mia Weckström Photo Timo Porthan
Kaupinkalliontie 7, 02100 Espoo
An ice rink and skating area
where hockey sticks are allowed.
Tapiola Ice Garden
Kirkkopolku, 02100 Espoo
A skating area where skating is
allowed without hockey sticks.
Säterinniitty Sports Field,
A skating area where hockey
sticks are allowed.
The building of an artificial ice
rink can be started when the
daily average temperature stays
below +4 °C.
Skating on artificial ice is free of
charge and takes place at your
The up-to-date opening hours
and ice condition information on
the ice rinks are updated on the
The traditional Friends & Ice-Skating event will be held again in January.
In addition, Espoo will have two more artificial ice rinks than before –
one in the Laaksolahti sports park and one in Puolarmaari.
The Espoo Cultural Centre and Tapiola
Ice Garden will be filled with music and
friends of skating when the traditional
Friends & Ice-skating event is held in
“The past year has been difficult for
many people, so we wanted to hold on to
the tradition and offer the people of Espoo
the joy of music and ice-skating,” says
Cultural Producer Maija Hietala.
The event will be arranged according
to the instructions given by the authorities,
which, in practice, means limiting the
number of people admitted to the concert
An event for the whole family. This
winter’s theme of the Friends & Iceskating
event is disco, and as usual, the
music will be played by the Tapiola
Sinfonietta. The Tapiola Sinfonietta’s disco
sounds will be streamed from the concert
hall onto a big screen in the Ice Garden,
and, vice versa, moods from the Ice Garden
will be shared with the audience in the
“The Friends & Ice-skating is an event
for the whole family. There’s going to be
a great concert and a big open-air disco.
If you don’t want to or can’t skate yourself,
you can come and watch the event
and enjoy the disco atmosphere with a hot
drink, for example. Minna Korkka and
Ernest Lawson will host the event, and
after the concert DJ Marc Fred will play
disco music,” Hietala reveals.
The event will be organised by Espoo
Sports and Exercise Services/Espoo liikkuu
community and the City of Espoo
Cultural Unit/Espoo Cultural Centre and
the Tapiola Sinfonietta.
More specific programme of the Friends
& Ice-skating event will be published
closer to the event.
The introduction of
the new National Core
Curriculum for General
Schools (LOPS) will
begin in autumn 2021. It
will give students more
opportunities to have a
say on matters.
Text Tiina Parikka Photos Timo Porthan
The new general upper
secondary school model
The opportunity to focus
on an important hobby
alongside studies enhances
Aada Ilvonen, a second-year music
programme student at Tapiolan lukio,
feels that general upper secondary
school should serve more as a place
that creates community spirit. She is
one of the four LOPS (National Core Curriculum
for General Upper Secondary Schools) ambassadors
in Espoo, tasked with encouraging young
people to participate and come up with new ideas.
Aada believes that upper secondary schools
would need new channels for influencing matters.
“I think every student should feel that he or she
can make a difference.”
One of the key objectives of the new curriculum,
to enter into force next autumn, is to
increase interaction in schools and across school
Ilvonen hopes that social media channels could
be used for stimulating discussion about what
could be done differently in schools. Today, if you
want to change something at school, you must
first contact a member of the students’ union
board or present the matter in their meeting.
The intention is that the LOPS ambassadors
would tour all the general upper secondary
schools in Espoo. The ambassadors personally
produce social media content and want to make
people in schools think what could be done differently.
Making your dreams come true. In her own
studies, Aada Ilvonen considers it important that
she can study in the music programme. She plays
the piano and sings.
“A special upper secondary school is absolutely
essential for me. In the music programme,
you can develop in matters that you like, which
also supports you when you study other subjects.”
For Lumi Mensonen, a second-year student
at Leppävaaran lukio, a special upper secondary
school offers an opportunity to fully pursue her
interest in basketball.
She has been playing basketball for nine years,
and it was obvious for her that she would choose a
sports-oriented upper secondary school.
“I want to develop in my sport and see how far
my gifts will take me.”
She is not stressed about the evening training
sessions 4–5 times a week and the additional
morning sessions – quite the opposite.
Lumi wants to continue her studies somewhere
where she could also practice her sports.
“It is very important for me that the place of further
studies also supports my interest in sports.”
As far my gifts
will take me.
to invest in
sports, but she
also want to
hopes that her
place of further
her interest in
20 A magazine for Espoo residents
This will change
✔ Students will be given more
opportunities to influence matters
and more personalised teaching.
The measures are aimed at
increasing the study motivation of
upper secondary school students.
✔ Upper secondary school
students will have new
opportunities to choose crosscurricular
studies. They can
attach different higher education
institution studies to their own
upper secondary school studies.
✔ More fokus will be put on study
guidance for upper secondary school
students. Study guidance will be
made available to students even after
they have completed their own upper
secondary school path.
✔ Assessment will become more
diversified. From next autumn onwards,
the students’ competence will be
assessed on a much broader scope
than before. A single performance or
exam will no
longer serve as the only
basis of evaluation. Source: Pekka Piri
your mind off
should feel that
they can make
Aada Ilvonen is
studying in the
music programme at
Tapiolan lukio. In her
opinion, the upper
should support not
only the students’
own interests but
also their opportunities
“Lessons can be held in a cinema, for example,” says Principal
Pekka Piri, describing the School as a Service model.
The school is not a building
but a service provider
Haukilahden lukio in Espoo is the first
upper secondary school in Finland
to introduce the School as a Service
model in accordance with the new
core curriculum. It is based on the
idea that the school is part of the surrounding
community, and teaching
can take place also in other places
than in traditional classrooms.
The number of students at
Haukilahden luio has grown by
around 50 per cent over the past
four years, which is why it is important
to find new facilities nearby.
“Lessons could be held almost
anywhere, for example in cinemas,”
says Pekka Piri, principal of
The students of Haukilahden lukio
have not yet studied in a cinema, but
Aalto University’s facilities have been
in their frequent use.
“The university’s physics, chemistry
and visual arts facilities were the
first ones we used,” Piri continues.
The School as a Service model
also enables close teaching cooperation
with the university. Therefore,
the students of Haukilahden lukio
are eager to choose Aalto University
courses, programming and debating
skills being the most popular among
The students can use credits they
have earned from university courses
later when doing university studies.
“Our cooperation with the university
is mutual. For example, Aalto
staff members have followed the
classes of upper secondary school
students,” says the principal.
Upper secondary school students,
on the other hand, have been able
to participate in, for example, public
defence events of doctoral theses.
“The defenders of the doctoral
theses have told upper secondary
school students how they have
worked their way from comprehensive
school to the top of an academic
22 A magazine for Espoo residents
From issuing bulletins
to genuine dialogue
A new development
manager for inclusion
has been hired as a link
between active Espoo
residents and various
actors in the city.
One of Heli Nikunen’s
ideas that Marion
Ticklén intends to take
forward is to use the
services of Aalto University
› When Heli Nikunen received a
reply to a post she had written in the
Asukkaiden Espoo Facebook group
from Marion Ticklén, she did not
know who this person was. Still,
Nikunen responded to Ticklén’s
request to contact her. This way, the
active Espoo resident and the development
manager hired to improve
the opportunities of city residents to
participate met each other.
“Heli had a lot of good ideas. On
my own, I do not know or come to
think of all the stakeholders whose
services we could use when developing
our city,” Ticklén admits openly.
In addition to Nikula’s ideas,
within a few months Ticklén has
accumulated on her work list about
60 proposals waiting to be processed.
“Some of them require political
decisions or are clearly the matter
of a specific city unit. I can advance
them as well by submitting them to
the right bodies,” Ticklén promises.
The city’s goal is to enable the participation
of residents in all activities
and development work. It is of great
importance how things are communicated.
“If we really want to hear the residents,
we should, for example, invite
people to zoning consultations with
a message that welcomes them to
participate. Now the residents get an
impression that these are briefings
for the purpose of passing information
only, without any genuine interaction,”
Ticklén is therefore tasked with
providing the city’s personnel with
new tools and training for improving
the inclusion of residents.
Espoo genuinely wants
to create opportunities
for city dwellers to
participate in the city’s
Text Tiina Parikka Photo Timo Porthan
Villa Elfvik Nature House
offers visitors an array
of snacks and lunches
with a more sustainable
approach. The Art
Nouveau style villa can
be found at the edge of
the Laajalahti Nature
Text Tiina Parikka Photos Timo Porthan
Get up close with a
special kind of nature
Villa Elfvik, which is managed by
Espoo´s Environment Department,
offers visitors an insight into the
special nature Espoo has to offer,
both indoors and outdoors.
Indoors, the villa hosts the permanent
exhibition Long Live Espoo,
which was rewamped and reopened
in December 2019.
“Our modern exhibition collection
provides visitors with large-scale
photographic collages, video presentations,
and auditory and participatory
activities, the latter of which
we can hopefully bring back into
use soon,” says Head of the Nature
House Riitta Pulkkinen.
Participatory activities have have
been temporarily closed to the public
due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The nature trails starting outside
the villa have been recently repaired,
and a beautiful new bridge over
the river has been added to the trail
leading to the neighbourhood of
“Before, the trails were muddy
and in poor shape, so we decided
to take action and have now widened
them slightly and reinforced
them with new soil,” Pulkkinen
It is hoped that the improved
pathways will attract walkers from
the nearby Waterfront Walkway to
come and explore the now safer
The nature trails wind their way
through the unique environment of
the Laajalahti Nature Reserve.
24 A magazine for Espoo residents
The nature trails leaving
from Villa Elfvik
wind their way around
the Laajalahti Nature
The revamped Long
Live Espoo exhibition
features large photo
collages, audio and
video content, and elements
people to take action.
Villa Elfvik, completed
in 1904, was originally
designed as a summer
residence for the
family of Baron Emil
Kalajärvi, the regional
centre of Northern
Espoo, was named
after a pond rich in fish,
Kalajärvi, located in
A family of four discovered Kalajärvi
by chance, but now nothing would
make them move somewhere else.
better and better
• A small-house area
with under 10,000
on both sides of
• The urban centre
of Northern Espoo,
which includes the
and several small
such as Örkkinitty.
• Extensive forest
and field areas.
Text Hanna Ojanpää Photo Eemeli Sarka
Paola Elefante, originally from
Bologna, Italy, arrived in Finland ten
years ago for an Erasmus student
exchange period. Pretty soon she and
her husband Fabrizio discovered that
they had come here to stay.
“The Finnish system made us realise that this
is where we want to start a family,” Paola says.
Paola and Fabrizio’s family also includes a
seven-year-old daughter, a five-year-old son and
a 12-year-old child in need of support spending
every other weekend with them. In addition,
they have a guinea pig, as well as a cat always trying
to get into your lap.
A big family needs room. The couple started
looking for a new house seven years ago, when
the home they had in Kannelmäki, Helsinki, at
the time was getting too small for the growing
“We didn’t really have any other requirements
beyond a terraced or detached house in
the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and a sufficient
number of bedrooms,” Paola says.
Through Oikotie, they found a two-storey terraced
house in Kalajärvi.
“This was the first apartment we saw. We went
to see another one, but we had already made up
our minds at the first viewing. We had immediately
fallen in love with the atmosphere within
the housing company,” Paola says with a laugh.
Also the proximity of services had a bearing
on the choice. Everything from the day care centre
and school to nature trails and recreational
opportunities can be found within walking distance.
Over the years, a functional network has
been built with other parents in the area, and
neighbours have become friends. And as customary
for Italians, the Elefante family has an
“Even more services and activities aimed at
families with children, such as open playgrounds
and the Service Centre, have been introduced
in the area while we have been living here. If the
public transport system also worked better, we
would have nothing to complain about. It has
also been a pleasant surprise to us how multicultural
this area is. Here you really feel that you are
part of the community,” Paola sums up.
Services for different stages of life
It was decided that the two-year
Service Centre concept trial
would be implemented in the
multipurpose centre at the heart
of Kalajärvi, known as Ruskatalo.
Service Coordinator Päivi Peltomaa
says that the purpose of
the trial is to find out what kind
of additional benefits the centralisation
of services brings to
customers and employees.
“Kalajärvi already had a
health centre, a maternity and
child health clinic, a dental clinic,
a home care office, a library and
a service point operating in the
same property. Now these services
function in a coordinated
manner at the Service Centre.
As a new service, we added four
facilities for municipal residents
that customers can book free
of charge through the Varaamo
booking system,” Peltomaa lists.
During the first year, the
focus has been on improving the
property and safety.
“We have extended the
opening hours and increased
the presence of security, and we
have been furnishing the facilities
for municipal residents. We
will also make improvements in
the guidance services.”
Especially the facilities for
municipal residents have been a
success right from the start. The
demand has been high for the
remote work rooms in daytime
in particular and for larger group
facilities in the evenings. There
are several hobby groups meeting
regularly at the centre.
The customer survey to be
conducted next year will provide
the city with information for further
discussion about the trial.
26 A magazine for Espoo residents
Paola and Fabrizio
Elefante are feeling
quite at home in
“Here you really feel
that you are part
of the community,”
Swedish in Espoo
Amidst the ongoing
pandemic, general upper
secondary school teachers
are hard at work finetuning
the new curriculum.
general upper secondary
education in August 2021
will be following a brand
new model in their studies.
White face masks can be seen dotted around
on students and teachers at Mattlidens
gymnasium in Espoo. In classroom A, language
teacher Krista Kaipainen is finishing
off the morning’s English lesson with
her second-year students.
The students’ performance is assessed based on a course
framework. However, the new general upper secondary students
who will sit in these classrooms next autumn will no
longer follow courses as such. Instead, they will accumulate
study points and study units.
“This is a part of the reform we’re undertaking. Courses are
being replaced with study units, which in turn comprise study
points,” explains Krista Kaipainen, who just a few days before
participated in a final workshop for Espoo’s general upper
The reformed general
upper secondary school
curriculum is to be
introduced in 2021.
Text and photos Sebastian Dahlström
General upper secondary
schools putting the finishing
touches to their new curriculum
Language teacher Krista
Kaipainen teaches English,
French and Spanish at
in Espoo. She sees major
benefits to the school’s new
curriculum, which will come
into force in autumn 2021.
Students Ivar Maura
(left) and William
happy to have been able
to study in person at the
school so far this autumn.
Distance learning in the
spring was tough.
An English class at Mattlidens gymnasium during the ongoing pandemic. Language teacher
Krista Kaipainen is leading a discussion in English on literature with the school’s second-year students.
Face masks and hand sanitiser have become part of the new norm in classrooms.
With the reform work now finished
at municipal level, the planning work is
underway at each school.
Two subjects simultaneously. In
the future, general upper secondary
school studies will continue to cover the
same subjects in the same proportions
as now. However, the reform aims to
provide students with new ways to take
knowledge on board.
“What’s important here is not what
we’re doing, but rather how we’re doing
it,” says Kaipainen. When it comes to
assessing students, she would like the
focus to shift from grades to feedback.
Flexibility is a key focal point, both
for individual students and for schools,
which are being given a large degree of
freedom in how they choose to adapt
and implement the country-wide
reform. One element that is brand-new
is the option to combine two subjects.
“For example, at general upper
secondary schools in Espoo we will be
combining economic mathematics with
social studies. Students will study mathematics,
whilst at the same time learning
why it matters,” explains Kaipainen.
The pandemic sets challenging
conditions for the reform. As a result
of the Covid-19 pandemic, many teachers
are overworked. Keeping on top
of all the daily challenges, whilst also
creating a new curriculum, is a big ask.
Nonetheless, the aim at Mattlidens
gymnasium is to have the new curriculum
ready by the end of the year, to leave
sufficient time for fine-tuning in the
“There’s great stuff here, that I know
for sure,” says Kaipainen from behind
her face mask.
The morning’s English class is finished.
I take the chance to ask students
William Karejärvi and Ivar Maura
what it has been like to continue their
general upper secondary studies in the
shadow of a pandemic.
“Distance learning in the spring was
tough. It started to get monotonous,
sitting in front of the computer for six
hours a day,” says Karejärvi.
Maura agrees that their learning suffered.
“My journey to school is so long that
studying from home meant that I had an
extra hour of sleep, but that was the only
Neither Maura nor Karejärvi will be
affected by the forthcoming reform.
Instead, they will follow the current curriculum
all the way through until their
“I’m perfectly happy sticking to the
old system,” says Karejärvi.
Espoo City Library’s Swedish-speaking
library pedagogues have been
awarded the Hugo Bergroth Society’s
Språksporren language incentive prize.
The reasoning for this was their determined
work to strengthen the position
of the Swedish language and promote
reading in Swedish in the multicultural
and multilingual Espoo.
Cooperation with day care centres
and schools was highlighted in particular
in the statement accompanying the
“We are responsible for the Library
Path, which is part of KULPS. As part
of this we provide book tips, training
in how to use libraries and gather
information, and a range of workshops
on reading-related themes,” explains
library pedagogue Sara Nordlund-
The statement also mentioned
the remote events held and distance
materials developed by the library
pedagogues during spring 2020. One
example is the Alla räknas (‘Everyone
counts’) workshop held during Nordic
Literature Week at the end of October
for Swedish-speaking pre-primary education
units in collaboration with Svebi.
“This is a combined storytime in
Swedish and Norwegian, accompanied
by a crafts workshop. We created
video recordings in advance and
sent out digital and craft materials to
everyone who registered,” explains
The Swedish-language Esbobibban
Facebook page also received praise.
Will we have a white Christmas?
*Accuweather 3 November 2020.
Source on previous years: Foreca
This year, we have all
been urged to limit our
to a small family circle.
In Espoo, Christmas is
white only every five
and 2019, Espoo
had snow twice on
Christmas Eve, in
2014 and 2018.
The coldest was
in 2018, when the
was -14.8 °C at six
in the evening.
Finnish with this
In 2013, 2016
and 2019, it was
raining when we
It snowed a little
early this month,
but will it stay on
the ground until
Mark the letters from the orange boxes (1–14) below and send the answer with
your name and address by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 Jan 2021.
30 A magazine for Espoo residents
get people moving
The association Laajalahti ry
was founded in 1950 when
the development of the village
of Laajalahti began. We are
now going through yet another
phase of construction.
As its name suggests, the
district of Laajalahti is
located on the western
shore of the Laajalahti bay
area. Today, it is part of
the Greater Tapiola urban centre. The
development of the area began after
the Second World War, for example,
through the settlement of Karelian
The village association, founded
in 1950, played an important role in
the construction of roads, sewage
systems and various facilities, such
as the school, in the area. One of the
major efforts was the building called
Veljeskulma, where the Laajalahti
Library is still located. Its survival has
been at stake on several occasions,
and fighting for it has brought the
Laajalahti residents together.
“Individual campaigns such as this
or one-off projects still get the people
living in the close-knit village community
moving. Instead, it is difficult
to engage people in longer-term activities,”
says Sari Ojanen, current chair
of Laajalahti ry.
A uniting force. The important role
of the village association is to encourage
people living in the same district
to get to know each other and to work
together for the benefit of their own
area. Laajalahti Day, held annually in
September, is the biggest and most
visible event of this kind to promote a
sense of community in the area.
“Unfortunately, this autumn, we
were unable to organise the event due
to the coronavirus situation,” says vicechair
The association’s 70th
anniversary year was
slightly overshadowed by
the coronavirus in other
respects as well, but the
association is still working
on the publication that it
prepares every ten years.
“We also organised summer
programme for children in cooperation
with cultural actors in the area.
The purpose of the children’s summer
passport was to familiarise children
with local culture while developing
their reading skills,” Lindberg says.
Information in one place. All the
news, issues under consideration and
plans regarding the area can be read
in one place, on the Laajalahtiry.fi
website. There are no automatic systems
updating the website. Instead,
it requires an active human contribution,
a task taken over by Lindberg.
“Many people probably don’t even
realise how much work it takes to follow
different channels and city bulletins
to maintain the site. I think this is
the most important task of our association
at the moment,” Ojanen says.
There is a lot going on in
Laajalahti at the moment.
Because of the Jokeri Light
Rail project and Ring I
upgrade, the area is in quite
“The Jokeri Light Rail
will completely change the
nature of Laajalahti, as we
become one stop along the
Helsinki Metropolitan Area route network,”
Ojanen points out.
In addition to keeping the local community
together, protecting the interests
of the residents is another duty the
“We try to ensure that the voice of
the local residents is heard when new
plans are being drawn up,” Ojanen
Laajalahti ry is one
of the oldest village
associations in Espoo.
continue to play an
important role in
maintaining a sense of
community in residential
Text Tiina Parikka Photo Eemeli Sarka
for next spring.
In addition to
tending to the
of Laajalahti ry
also take care
of keeping other
looking good by
Do you suspect a
If you suspect you have
any symptoms of the coronavirus,
you can book a test appointment
through the HUS Coronabot.
If you wish to book an
appointment by phone:
✆ 09 816 34600
(Mon–Fri 7–18 and Sat–Sun 9–15)
In the evenings and at weekends:
Medical Helpline ✆ 116 117.
You can also assess your
symptoms at omaolo.fi.
You will then get instructions
based on your symptoms.