Designing the future of cities, together with the citizens

Designing cities with citizens

Designing the future of cities, together with the citizens


Over the past years, we have had the pleasure of working with several cities in Finland, to design better experiences for citizens and make organisational operations more fluid. This has allowed us to develop “city design” expertise and a seamless approach to designing functional, memorable, and distinct experiences together with different stakeholders. Our way of working involves citizens, civil servants, and city workers in co-creating a better life in urban environments.

Designing for cities or other public sector organisations is not the same as designing for businesses. The City organisation and the actual assignments are multi-dimensional. To be able to deliver solutions that have true value, it is important to have a strategic understanding of networks and ecosystems. The design work needs to consider that the work’s goal is to develop impactful, yet cost-efficient services that serve all customer groups.

“It’s great to see that cities are becoming more and more customer-driven. They are also increasingly investing in developing design-driven strategies and better employee experience. By focusing on the real needs and desires of customers and employees, and designing together with them, we can design services that meet the strategic goals of cities in terms of impact and efficiency”, says Saara-Sisko Jäämies, Senior Service Designer at Digitalist. “Combining the city brand, customer experience, design, and technology in a seamless way, we can ensure that the cities are functional and attractive now and in the future”, she concludes.

Lately, we have been working with Finnish cities; for example creating and validating the concept for a learning environment, creating customer journeys, personas, and empathy maps in different city environments, defining customer experience, creating a strategy for culture- and leisure time department and facilitating ongoing online co-creation with citizens.

Our collaboration with cities will continue and we have expanded our footprint in city design through large framework agreements with the City of Helsinki and the City of Turku.