Capability building » Puolarmetsä case study

Senior citizens are an underutilized resource for strategy development.

The Challenge

The City of Espoo is planning a new hospital and a conversion of the existing Puolarmetsä hospital into high-quality accommodation for the elderly, a “Life and Living” Senior Citizens’ Centre. The aim is to build a hospital that is good for both the patients and employees and for the families and relatives of the patients. According to the program, the construction should be completed by 2014. As senior citizens influence our society more and more the question was how the citizens themselves could be more actively involved in the planning of the new hospital.

The Solution

The hospital project team of City of Espoo decided to use Synocus as a facilitator of a scenario project to gain a better understanding of the needs of the different target groups related to the new hospital centre. One important element in the project was to involve senior citizens and relatives in the planning process together with city professionals.

The Benefits

The benefit of Synocus’ scenario process was that it successfully activated different target groups in an innovative, engaging collaborative process looking into the future. The process consisted of expert interviews, preparatory planning sessions, and three highly interactive workshops to build different future scenarios and alternative paths leading to these scenarios. The process stimulated innovativeness and new thoughts, and even radical ideas were often voiced during the process.

The findings from the project formed an important input for the subsequent brief for an open, international architectural competition for the design of the new Puolarmetsä hospital centre.

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The working process and the method employed ensured that the elderly citizens, the patients and their relatives and the staff members were all included in the activity. The scenario-method was very interactive and inspiring. Participants actively took part in hospital designing and in planning elderly care in Espoo. The work atmosphere was familiar and joyful. The results provided a good insight into the visions and hopes of the patients and elderly citizens.

Elina Kylmänen-Kurkela, Project Manager