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Talvinen kaupunkimaisema. Image Tero Takalo-Eskola

The Jyväskylä City Council approved the updated Jyväskylä City Strategy for the years 2022–2025 in February 2022. The vision is "Jyväskylä is a growing and international city of education and culture. The mission is "We promote the well-being, participation and social relations of our citizens". Values are humanity, courage, openness, responsibility and safety.

Four strategic spearheads

  • City of education and culture
  • City of vitality and growth
  • Capital of sport in Finland
  • City of resource wisdom

To implement the strategy's spearheads, 18 themes have been identified, the implementation of which is crucial to the city's success. The strategic priorities and themes set the agenda for the coming years.

Jyväskylä City Strategy

Jyväskylä is a growing and international city of education and culture

Jyväskylä’s story as a city of education and culture springs from the city’s history. In the nineteenth century Jyväskylä was the location for Finland’s very first Finnish-language educational institutions; the foundations for Jyväskylä’s position as a city of education and culture had been laid. 

The City of Jyväskylä is one of Finland’s fastest growing cities. Jyväskylä’s population growth has been the fifth fastest for the last fifty years. Today, too, Jyväskylä is one of Finland’s most popular cities for university study as well as other forms of education and training, offering a wide range of study options in numerous disciplines. The city has a student population of approximately 40 000, in other words almost every third passer-by is a student of one kind or another. This youthfulness is reflected clearly in the lively cityscape. 

The city’s highly popular institutions of higher education and strong upper secondary education are firmly founded on quality basic education as well as early childhood education and care, together forming the bedrock of the city’s educational-cultural identity. Through knowledge we seek to inspire people to embrace fresh thinking, a trailblazing mindset, continuous learning and the ability to modernize and evolve. We foster renewal in the business sector and are proud of the fact that we are changing the world by boosting levels of expertise around us. 

For us, the citizens of Jyväskylä, education is a broad concept; in addition to learning minds, it encompasses physical recreation as well as sustenance for culture-hungry souls. We are home, for instance, to the radical ideas of Minna Canth which changed the world and Alvar Aalto’s contribution to modern design. We are a versatile city of art, of hobbies and interests, and of events which offers something for every person to enjoy. 
In line with this commitment to education and culture we seek to maintain a safe and egalitarian environment in which to grow, study and do business. Each and every one of us has the opportunity to learn and develop at all stages of life - from Mäki-Matti family park to the various higher education campuses and career paths of working life right through to the University of the Third Age. 

Promoting the well-being of our citizens underpins the services the city offers. Jyväskylä is a multifaceted city that features a busy, vibrant city centre, residential areas with a strong sense of community as well as vigorous rural areas. 

Implementation and monitoring of the strategy

The city strategy is the highest-order document guiding the city’s operations and the way it is managed. The city strategy is a document which describes how Jyväskylä is to look in 2025 and which central objectives and goals the city sets for its operations. The purpose of the strategy is also to foster joint commitment. The strategy is founded on choices. The items included in the city strategy are the important strategic focuses at this moment on which the city’s success in the future rely. Where policies are concerned the document remains at the level of strategic goal setting. Execution and more detailed planning are carried out each year in connection with preparation of the budget. 

The central process of strategic management is annual planning of the city’s operations and finances. The strategy guides the preparation of the budget, repeated each year, as well as other operational planning. The budget includes city-level annual objectives and measures proposed by the municipal divisions for achieving them. The budget’s goals are derived from the strategy. When drafting the city budget, the divisions and municipal businesses list operational goals in the form of strategy control tables, in which the indicators’ baseline and target level are also specified. Additionally, to facilitate strategy implementation, appropriate action plans are drawn up. Implementation of the strategy is reported to the city council each year in connection with the financial statement. More extensive monitoring of the strategy’s impact is made at the halfway point in the council term. 

The strategy is not simply the city organization’s strategy but the strategy of the wider urban community, since where implementation is concerned the City of Jyväskylä is one actor among others. 

In addition, communication, stakeholder cooperation and joint forums are employed to support strategic management and implementation of the strategy as concrete actions. The goals of the strategy are put into practice as part of management and internal communication as well as in people’s everyday lives as part of service and marketing communication.

Four strategic spearheads

City of education and culture

  1. Inspiring and supportive educational path to citizens’ lifelong learning
  2. Energetic city of expertise and research in which the growth of children and young people is promoted on the basis of knowledge and by increasing the participation of these cohorts
  3. Centre for leading professionals in nurture and education
  4. Finland’s most diverse cultural growth platform for children and young people
  5. Pioneer in cultural spaces and interesting cultural environments
  6. Development of culture and the arts shines brightly

City of vitality and growth

  1. Boosting employment 
  2. Growing enterprises and attractive jobs 
  3. Boosting innovations and R&D investments in cooperation with business and higher education institutions
  4. Growing and easily accessible regional capital

Capital of sport in Finland

  1. Finland’s most physically active citizens 
  2. Best conditions in Finland for sport and physical recreation
  3. Most attractive sport and wellness cluster in the Nordic countries
  4. Inspiring city of wellness tourism and sporting events

City of resource wisdom

  1. Sustainable and low-carbon urban structure and transport system
  2. Jyväskylä is carbon-neutral by 2030
  3. Safeguarding the biodiversity of the natural environment
  4. Resource-wise consumption and the circular economy
city strategy