Making Tampere a model city of well-being
Dear people living in Tampere,
I am writing to you because I am concerned about what will happen to our hometown Tampere in the future. Although our city is a nice place to live in many ways, there is still much that needs to be improved.
Savings and cutbacks have deteriorated the services Tampere offers even to the extent that the inhabitants are now afraid they will not have access to all necessary services. Many elderly people and the chronically ill are anxious about getting sufficient care and treatment.
The cutbacks have been justified by the poor economy, and it has been said that they are unavoidable. However, this claim is only partly true because the poor economy cannot be improved by cutbacks but by increasing tax revenue. When employment rates improve, tax revenue will also increase. Tampere should not be paying the so-called fines for long-term unemployment; instead it should actively provide job opportunities for the unemployed.
In recent years, the city’s decision-making has been dominated by large-scale construction projects, such as the Rantatunneli tunnel, the five-star city centre and the Tampere deck and central arena. We naturally need new construction because it will provide much needed jobs. But Tampere is not a metropolis of millions of inhabitants whose silhouette should be dotted by skyscrapers. Our growing city needs to provide more housing, but not so badly that houses should be built in parks. Lack of housing is no excuse for destroying the trees in the Eteläpuisto Park or other recreational areas.
In the coming years, Tampere should actively improve its services and make the everyday life of its residents smoother and safer. Let’s make Tampere a model city of well-being!
In the model city of well-being, the ill get timely medical attention. Places in care facilities or retirement homes are efficiently provided for the elderly who can no longer cope on their own. Nobody has to live under the open sky. Day care centres and schools can be found in all neighbourhoods or only a short bus ride away. Day care centres have enough staff and space. Children and adolescents enjoy their lives and learn at schools. Tampere is famous for its cultural activities and provides all inhabitants opportunities to engage in cultural and sporting activities. Is this only a utopia? It isn’t – all this is entirely possible if that is what we want.
Cartoonist Panu Hämeenaho drew the picture of all people’s Tampere.
Who is Sinikka Torkkola?
Jobs and education
Researcher, doctor of social sciences, registered nurse
Chief shop steward at the University of Tampere
30 years of fixed-term jobs: cleaner, factory worker, hospital cleaning technician, nurse’s aide, nurse, journalist, lecturer, assistant, coordinator, lecturer and a researcher with a scholarship and a salary
Most important positions of trust
- Alternate member of the City Council in Tampere
- Member of the board of the Pirkanmaa Hospital District
- Member of the board for elderly affairs appointed by the City Council
- Chair of Left Alliance’s Pirkanmaa chapter
- Member of the board of Left Alliance
- Chair of the Finnish Association for Media and Communication (2012 –2015)