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Participatory budgeting in Lahti

Voting for ideas has ended, thanks to all voters!

171 ideas went to the vote. 5098 residents voted between May and June, which is 8% more than in 2021. 4973 residents voted online, and 125 residents voted on a paper form.

The welfare and leisure board will decide on the projects to be implemented based on the vote at its meeting on August 16, 2023, after which the results will be published on the city’s website The ideas with the most votes will be implemented during 2024.

Propose ideas, develop, vote – join us in developing Lahti!

Ideas from the public welcomed from 26 January to 5 March 2023

Do you want to have a say in the future of Lahti and your neighbourhood? Participatory budgeting (PB) is your chance to submit ideas and influence how the City’s participatory budget is spent. The ideation phase welcomes all residents of Lahti to submit their ideas for the development of their own neighbourhood or the city as a whole.

The total budget for implementing ideas submitted by the public is EUR 200,000, and the money will be split into five equal portions between the southern, northern, eastern and central areas of the city as well as city-wide projects.

You can see the geographical division for participatory budgeting here.

Your idea must fall under one of the following themes:

  • Community
  • Environment
  • Well-being
  • Sustainability

The sustainability theme also covers the renovation of existing infrastructure.

This round of participatory budgeting introduces a new, experimental element to the ideation phase: a PB hotline manned by a virtual receptionist, which members of the public can call to submit their ideas. The number for the PB hotline is +358 (0)45 490 6350 (in Finnish).

How are ideas evaluated?

Experts from the City organisation will review all ideas submitted by members of the public to evaluate their feasibility. To be considered, ideas must be

  • legal,
  • within the City organisation’s purview and implementable in 2024,
  • related to one of four themes: Well-being, Community, Environment or Sustainability,
  • within budget (up to EUR 40,000 per area),
  • maintainable by the City organisation without, for example, incurring unsustainable running costs or having to hire permanent staff, and
  • non-commercial, non-discriminatory and supportive of the principle of equality.


People decide, the City implements.


  • Lahti residents of all ages can submit their ideas to the City of Lahti during the ideation phase.

    Ideas can be proposed for any of the areas. The proposed idea must be linked to one of the four themes and be realizable by the City. The City has the right to further develop and edit the ideas.

    Two gift vouchers worth €50 for the City’s cultural services are drawn among those submitting an idea.

    Before you submit your idea, please consider the following:

    • Does your idea fall within the City organisation’s competence and purview?
      For example, the City is not responsible for running cafés.
    • Can your idea be implemented within the constraints of the participatory budget? The maximum budget per idea is EUR 40,000. For example, the budget is not big enough to build a skatepark (the estimated cost of a skatepark is EUR 500,000).
    • Which area of the city does your idea relate to? Click here for a map showing the geographical division.

    You can submit as many ideas as you wish, as long as you submit them one at a time. To submit more ideas, just restart the survey.

    Experts from the City organisation will review all ideas submitted by members of the public to evaluate their feasibility. All ideas and the experts’ evaluations of their feasibility will be published on the ideation website by 17 April.

    By submitting an idea, you give the City the right to revise it and take it further. Only ideas that satisfy the evaluation criteria will be considered.

    All participants who leave their contact information will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win one of two gift vouchers worth EUR 50 each to be spent on Lahti-based cultural activities. Please note that privacy laws prevent us from collecting contact information from children under the age of 13 years.

  • Comment on ideas on the ideation website or come along to a brainstorming focus group.  Joint development workshops:

    • Live workshop on 3 May at Palvelutori (at Trio Shopping Center, 2nd floor) at 16:30 to 18:30
    • Online workshop on 27 April at 16:15 to 18:15. Event link takes you to the Teams-meeting, click here to join event.

    Workshops are open to everyone, feel free to participate! Ideas can also proceed directly from the ideation phase to the voting phase.

  • Vote for your favourite ideas on the website or on a paper ballot at your local library or the Palvelutori Service Centre. All residents of all ages are welcome to vote. You can vote only once. You have 171 different ideas to vote.

    Please note that the voting page is in Finnish. You can use translator app to translate the ideas in your language. You find voting form in English hereby attached (PDF). Voting by using voting form is possible in Palvelutori and in all libraries in Lahti.

    Vote for ideas from 22 May to 11 June
  • The ideas that attract the most votes in 2023 will be implemented during 2024.

Participatory budgeting ideas in 2021/2022

A total of 4,691 members of the public – almost 4% of Lahti’s population – voted in the last round of participatory budgeting. Children and adolescents were particularly active, and the number of voters aged under 18 years doubled compared to the previous round of participatory budgeting in 2020.

A total of 33 ideas submitted by the public were implemented based on the votes. The total budget was EUR 200,000.

The most popular idea with 1,358 votes was ‘Enlisting youth to clean up the city’ (EUR 8,000). The implementation phase will be coordinated by City of Lahti Youth Services, which will mobilise a team of young people aged between 17 and 29 years to pick litter, weed invasive species and clear woodland of forestry waste. The PB funds will pay for, among other things, travel expenses incurred from scouting out areas in need of tidying up and training events designed to promote the well-being and social empowerment of young people in Lahti.

The most popular idea relating to the south of the city was ‘Opening a hobby horse track in Laune Family Park’ (EUR 1,000). The hobby horse track received a total of 918 votes, and the idea will be implemented by the City of Lahti Public Works Department in collaboration with a partner.

The winning idea for the east of the city was ‘Extending the Linnaistensuo nature trail’ (EUR 4,000), which attracted 1,048 votes. The City of Lahti Urban Environment Division has taken charge of the project, which involves investigating the potential of turning the Linnaistensuo nature trail into a circular route.

The winner in the north of the city with 945 votes was an idea to start providing ‘Fishing-rod hire in Ankkuri’ (EUR 2,000). The idea will be implemented by the City of Lahti Urban Environment Division and the City of Lahti Public Works Department in collaboration with the Ankkuri Residents’ Association.

The most popular idea in the city centre was ‘Guarded bicycle parking in the Market Square’ (EUR 5,000), which was also among the ideas submitted in the previous year’s round of participatory budgeting. This time around, the idea received 1,066 votes. The new bicycle parking facility will be managed by the City of Lahti Public Works Department and the City of Lahti Urban Planning Department, and it will be built in collaboration with the youth action group Inspis ry.

Participatory budgeting coordinators in Lahti