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Through digitalisation, the City develops services that make life and activities in Helsinki smoother for residents, businesses, communities, tourists, City employees and decision-makers.

Helsinki’s ambitious digitalisation programme launched in 2019 enables the City to improve its services and modernise its activities in many ways. The changes relate not only to new technologies but also to the culture of development, organisation, leadership and staff competence. In the new City Strategy, digitalisation and knowledge-based management have been highlighted as one of the priorities.

Helsinki wants to be more customer-oriented and agile in its activities and to use data in its services and decisions. Digitalisation can contribute to the SDGs in many ways and offer new solutions and opportunities for people to participate.

Investment in accessibility

Digitalisation may also increase inequalities. Digital exclusion has been identified as a growing problem. Social exclusion and lack of participation can befall people of all ages. The COVID-19 pandemic strongly highlighted the risk of digital exclusion for older people in particular. Helsinki has invested heavily in increasing digital skills and improving the quality of digital services, so that everyone has equal access to them. However, more efforts are needed, especially for the elderly, and attention must also be paid to the availability of equipment for all age groups.

Accessibility is also an important aspect. Accessible digital services are easy to use for all users, including the elderly and people with various disabilities. Once accessibility is taken into account, as many people as possible can use digital services independently.

In terms of the accessibility of digital services, Helsinki aims to reach at least the AA level specified in the WCAG guidelines. After the transitional period, an accessibility statement will be available in each of the City’s digital services. The statement describes how well the website or application meets the accessibility requirements and how accessibility feedback can be provided to the City or supervisory authority.