The city of Hämeenlinna (Finland) recognises open technology as an opportunity to attract tech companies and get citizens involved. That is why the municipality is now increasing its use of – and contribution to – open source software.
Earlier this month, Hämeenlinna joined Finland’s network of open source municipalities. The network is organised by COSS, the country’s open source resource centre. “We plan to do more with open technology, and we will need help with that,” Jouni Jäkkö, Hämeenlinna’s CIO, told the European Commission’s Open Source Observatory.
“Finnish municipalities have similar needs [to one another] and do similar things. We feel that the interaction through the network provided by COSS promotes cooperation and that not everyone has to reinvent the wheel,” COSS quotes the CIO as saying in its announcement. The city says its investment in openness, open data and open technology will reflect positively on Hämeenlinna, and attract innovative companies and research organisations.
Summer cottage reservation
Hämeenlinna is joining another Finnish city, Salo, to revamp an information app named Kaupunki taskussa (“City in your pocket”), which is partly financed by the Ministry of Finance. The new version, planned for this year, will distinguish between citizens and visitors and offer appropriate information and services to each group.
Hämeenlinna also offers an online reservation system for resources managed by the city, including boat berths and summer cottages. This is based on Respa, a resource management tool developed as open source by six other municipalities including Helsinki, Espoo, and Tampere.
Mr Jäkkö says the increase in open source will help attract companies. It is an advantage that the town’s university, Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) is also teaching open technology, he adds.
Hämeenlinna sees open technology as a way to get citizens involved in the municipality, he says. That is why the city is considering the use of Decidem, an eParticipation solution developed by the city of Barcelona (Spain).