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Strategy period 2017–2021

During the strategy period, good progress has been made in securing sustainable growth in the development of the urban structure and housing in line with the objective. Development targets include the development of the vitality of the city centre and residential areas as well as larger entities in the emission reduction programme.

Developing services have made progress in the client orientation of basic services, including the study path of local early childhood education and basic education services, services that are provided to the elderly at home and support their living at home, and the promotion of physical activity.

Digitalisation has also progressed at an accelerating pace. Challenges have been caused by increasing disparities in well-being and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being and service deficiencies.

In responsible financial management, the beginning of the council term proceeded as planned with the exception of the productivity objective. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the situation is changing the chances of succeeding in the economic objectives, and the loan portfolio is increasing.

The goals of the strategy period 2017-2021 have been linked to the themes of securing sustainable growth, developing services and responsible financial management
Helsinki’s sustainable development report in 2019 noted that the objectives of the Helsinki City Strategy 2017–2021 are linked to many SDGs.

Sustainable development promoted through key projects

During the strategy period, sustainable development themes have been promoted not only through the development of basic activities, but especially through the strategy’s key projects. There have been seven key projects during the strategy period: the Health and Welfare Promotion Project, Project for Youth Social Inclusion, Exercise and Mobility Scheme Project, Helsinki Maritime Strategy Project, Land Policy Guideline Project, Real Estate Strategy Project, and Central Pedestrian Zone and Underground Distributor Street Project.

Some of the main successes in the key projects have been the increase and strengthening of city-wide activities to promote the maritime aspects, physical activity, well-being and health and to prevent the marginalisation of children and young people. The importance of climate policy has been increased at the city level through the implementation of the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 Action Plan, and the focus has been turned towards large emission reductions.

The lesson learned from the key projects during the strategy period was that it would be good to focus on a smaller number of more effective measures. Adequate attention must also be paid to the resourcing, planning and project coordination of the selected sets of strategic measures at an early stage when deciding on them.

The SDGs and the sustainability aspect should also be more fully integrated into the strategy and planning of activities. Although the role of the SDGs as a whole has not changed or grown much during the strategy period, it can be noted at the level of individual programmes and initiatives that the importance of the SDG framework is increasing, and many programmes or road maps created during the strategy period contain stronger references to sustainable development.