|Resident activity||Graphical version|
Finland has seen an improvement in the chances of residents to influence the development of their local neighbourhood. A key issue in resident activity is to bring together opinions that can vary greatly. Residents’ voices must be heard in issues such as town planning and environmental issues.
The objective of neighbourhood democracy is to create various cooperation bodies between local residents and government. These can include neighbourhood committees and sub-municipal committees.
Residents’ evenings are unofficial meetings of local people and decision-makers. For example in the City of Tampere, the Chair of the City Council and the councillors regularly meet locals on their neighbourhood tours.
Residents’ associations bring local residents together. A residents’ association can voice peoples' opinions to municipal decision-makers and be actively involved in issues such as local traffic planning or town planning and construction decisions.
Neighbourhood committees are a joint forum for representatives of several districts or villages. The municipal council appoints members of the committee in accordance with decisions made by residents’ associations. The municipal council can provide the committee with powers to make decisions on issues related to the neighbourhood.
Village committees, village associations and local heritage associations have a long history in Finland. All villagers are members of the village committee. The task of these committees is to generate ideas and support the continuous development of the village in order for it to serve villagers better. Village committees organise cooperation between villagers, provide information and maintain the age-old Finnish team spirit in providing neighbourly help.
Many associations support local entrepreneurship and seek to increase leisure services. Village committees liaise with municipal authorities in issues related to the village. One of the biggest tasks of a village committee is to draw up and implement the village plan, which outlines the plans for the future of the village.
The Village Action Association of Finland promotes village action and other locally initiated rural development at the national level. It acts as the national umbrella organisation for villages as well as national and regional actors in rural development.
The Finnish Association of Local Culture and Heritage is the national interest group for those promoting local culture and heritage. It seeks to influence legislation and government in order to build capacity for local action and improve the quality of the local living environment.
Updated on February 14, 2007