The City of Espoo is trialling the transformation of the local service centre in Kalajärvi into the Kalajärvi Service Centre. The first changes will appear around the New Year. The Kalajärvi Service Centre will be modelled after the Iso Omena Service Centre, which has been operational in Matinkylä since August 2016.
The new Kalajärvi Service Centre will be located in the Ruskatalo premises known for the local service centre. The facilities currently house numerous service units of the City of Espoo: the library, the maternity and child health care clinic, the health centre, a service point, dental clinic, home care and some social services. The shift to a service centre will not initially affect the range of services available, but will make the cooperation between them closer.
“Traditionally, public services operate in their individual silos. The objective of the service centre model is to improve customer service so that professionals from various fields can work together for the good of the common customer, making life easier for the residents of the municipality,” says City of Espoo Customer Service Manager Juha-Pekka Strömberg.
Residents involved in planning
In addition to the customer service and reception areas, the new Kalajärvi Service Centre will cover 300–400 square metres of space including a hall and classrooms intended for shared use by the residents. This space is currently underused, and one of the objectives of the service centre is to put it to better use.
“This change to a service centre has been in the works since last November, when we started the planning with thelocal service centre units. We have taken into account the views of the residents of Kalajärvi by handing out a questionnaire to all households in the area. We will be involving the residents in planning the operations more now that the start of this pilot has been confirmed,” Strömberg promises.
Ensuring good basic services in regional centres
The City of Espoo has set a goal of establishing service centres that bring public services together under one roof in central areas and public transport hubs for the council term of 2017–2021.
The Kalajärvi Service Centre was selected as the pilot site ahead of larger centres, because it already had functional services and premises. In addition to this, the City of Espoo wants to make sure that good services are also offered in smaller regional centres.
Neither the Kalajärvi Service Centre nor any of the future service centres will be carbon copies of the Iso Omena Service Centre, but designers will try to determine and incorporate the most important public services for each regional centre.
The Kalajärvi Service Centre is roughly half the size of the Iso Omena Service Centre in terms of range of services and size: Kalajärvi has approximately 2,900 square metres of floor area, whereas Iso Omena has 6,500.
Customer Service Manager Juha-Pekka Strömberg, City of Espoo
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