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Vaasa residents have voted for bigger bins and more benches along the seaside promenade

Published: 6.5.2024

This year, Vaasa’s participatory budgeting has chosen bigger bins and additional benches for the seaside promenade. Residents had the opportunity to suggest their ideas between January and February, and a whopping total of 429 ideas were submitted. Voting for the winner was open until April 14, 2024, and the winning idea gathered 1340 votes.

In second place in the vote was a mini basketball court in Onkilahti with 753 votes, and in third place, free park lunches for children with 553 votes.

– We received a fantastic number of suggestions, and the voting also inspired the people of Vaasa. Bigger bins and benches have been requested for many years, and now this perennial favourite will be implemented! We thank everyone who submitted their ideas for their creativity, says Suvi Aho, Strategy and Area Services Manager.

The aim of participatory budgeting is for citizens to participate in the development of their own environment and to highlight ways in which public funds can be used. Vaasa earmarks €15,000 every year to implement participatory budgeting projects.

This year marks the fifth time that participatory budgeting has been carried out. In 2023, the winning idea was an ice swimming area in the Inner Harbour, and in previous years, toys for daycare centres, a flower meadow, and a cherry blossom park have been created.

“Let’s keep Vaasa clean!”

– This year, a total of 12 individuals or groups suggested benches and bigger bins for the seaside promenade. This indicates that the matter is highly desired. The seaside promenade offers many opportunities for outdoor activities and enjoying the scenery, which is why its cosiness is important to many. The new benches and waste bins will be installed during this summer season, says Aho.

Voters justified the winning idea with reasons such as:

“So that people of all ages could enjoy Vaasa’s beautiful seascape and sit down to eat packed lunches. Waste bins so that waste is not thrown on the ground or into nature.”

“The cosiness of the seaside promenade is everyone’s concern, regardless of age or gender.”

“More benches for enjoying the views. Larger bins might make the bins easier to use.”

“The benches should be for all Vaasa residents; even if you’d have no summer cottage, you can still enjoy nature while sitting, and waste is a big problem; there should be more bins everywhere so that we don’t have to organise ‘pick up others’ waste’ campaigns; everyone should take care of their own waste.”

“The seaside promenade is a popular place for outdoor activities for many, so hopefully larger bins will keep the beaches clean. Additional benches offer rest opportunities for more people.”

“Definitely more benches and bins when summer comes again, and people want to spend time outdoors. This will serve a good purpose.”

“The waste bins should always be in sight so that people bother to put their waste in them. As a dog owner, it’s also infuriating to walk with a poop bag in hand over really long distances. Let’s keep Vaasa clean! ❤️”