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Espoo – the city where foreigners feel right at home

Espoo – the city where foreigners feel right at home

The “Hello Espoo” project is aimed at providing increased support to the constantly growing non-Finnish population of the city

The share of Espoo's foreign-speaking population is growing rapidly: it was 8.3 per cent in 2010, 18 per cent in 2020 and is expected to reach 30 per cent in 2035. The Hello Espoo project is an inclusive initiative aimed at developing the city's services and supporting international settlers in Espoo. The project will help the city grow into one of the best places in the world where people can thrive, be well and enjoy an excellent quality of life.

Moving with the times

Espoo was the first city in Finland where English was adopted as the service language in 2017. The purpose of developing English-language services is to improve the English-speaking customer experience and help residents who have moved to Espoo from abroad.

The Hello Espoo website ( www.helloespoo.fi ) was developed in 2019 to provide international residents with comprehensive information and useful guidance before, during and after moving to Espoo. The Hello Espoo website collects accurate and meaningful information for various target groups. It also includes an online chat service where residents can ask questions about the city’s services.

Now, a year after the launch of the Hello Espoo website, the site has about 14,000 users. In line with Espoo's overall strategy, the new Hello Espoo website not only strengthens municipal information services but also supports the image of Espoo as a unique, positive, diverse and international city.

The Hello Espoo community is built around the Hello Espoo Facebook group. The group offers all English-speaking residents of the city a warm, positive and diverse space to share news and events as well as information about the city's services and living in Finland in English. In addition, all English-speaking residents can participate in discussions related to the City of Espoo's services and influence decision-making related to the city's development.

The goal of the City of Espoo is to provide equitable, humane and tolerant public services. The Hello Espoo project emphasizes the importance of the City of Espoo's strategic vision in the continuous development and open and fair provision of public services to all city residents, as well as the importance of municipal communications for the city's international English-speaking residents. Along with other initiatives of the City of Espoo, such as Espoo City Council meetings and Talents Espoo, the Hello Espoo project is part of the City of Espoo's diverse and inclusive ecosystem aimed at international experts.

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