Collaborative service model for responsible leisure activities

Research, data analysis, ideation, concept development, user journey, and prototyping
7 weeks
City of Espoo/Aalto University
Rahel Manurung, Riina Ruus-Prato, Shreya Kumar, Yuvin Ha, Yuze Wang
Create a grilling and campfire network along the Rantaraitti area by developing persuasive action plans to receive the support from residents, decision-makers, and civil servants.
Rantaraitti is a unique recreational outdoor footpath defining the coastline of Espoo, a city on the west border of Helsinki. The waterfront walkway has a diverse landscape, which varies from protected natural areas to urban clusters of companies.

In most of the natural areas, fires are an existing phenomenon along the walkway. Even though there is no proper legal place for grilling, there are several traces of such activities. The unauthorised grilling activities causes not only waste but also a safety hazard, especially if the fire is left unmonitored. For that reason, the city of Espoo tasked our team with the mission to address the occurrence of fires by developing a grilling and campfire network that promotes the development of new services and better accessibility along the waterfront walkway, as well as protect the significant natural and recreational values of the area.

Natural areas damaged due to grilling activities. 

Traces of grilling outside. 

From site visits to interviews with stakeholders, observations, and a service safari, all these were relevant to study and learn more about the context and the users.
Stakeholders map.
Interviews with local business owners.

Service safari by the team.

Barbecue and campfire user journey based on observations.

Mapping the findings based on the research, helped to single out relevant themes. Additionally, four typologies of users were defined to better understand the diversity of users of the waterfront. As a result, 6 design drivers were generated from the key insights and service opportunities identified.

Themes clusters based on key findings from research.

It became clear that the sole problem was not the lack of grilling areas but rather the behaviour of people. There was a lack of responsibility and feeling of community. Once this was identified the brief was reframed: “We are not designing grilling places. We will use grilling as a leverage point to nudge other recreational activities.”

The goal was to design a new service model that would change behaviour and transfer knowledge through leisure activities. Therefore, the aim was to design a service that strengthens the feeling of responsibility and adds to the communal feeling by designing for behavioural change.

Team members sketching and ideating.

After reframing came the idea generation. In total 30 initial ideas were developed. Some of the ideas were combined, since some of them addressed the same issues in a similar way. This combination resulted in 12 ideas.

The 12 remaining ideas were evaluated by the team based on how much value the concept can bring to the three main stakeholders: the users, the city and the service owners. Efforts and costs that the city needs to invest to implement the concepts were also evaluated. The values for the users, the city and the services had more weight due to the value that the idea would generate.

As a result of the idea evaluation, 5 ideas scored higher than the others: co-reporting system; local services for activities; local voice; subscription; and communal development.
A collaborative service model named Yhteispot. Locals share their knowledge and behaviour with people from outside.

The new service model enables visitors to understand the local context and enjoy the area, by accessing Local Service points, for example, to rent tools like grilling equipment. This close cooperation between the city, residents, and services makes Rantaraitti the heart of leisure activities. This close cooperation between the city, residents, and services makes Rantaraitti the heart of leisure activities.

Yhteispot service framework.

User journey map with four typologies of users: spontaneous; planner; passerby; sheriff.


The collaborative service model has the potential to extend its range, making a cluster of services, by linking together other activities. Eventually, it can be used as a template that can be implemented along Rantaraitti, promoting a network of services and leisure experiences.
The city of Espoo asked our team to create a grilling and campfire network along the Rantaraitti area. But why does the city of Espoo needed a new grilling network?
Before designing action plans for a grilling network, we had to understand what residents and civil servants thought about creating fireplaces along the waterfront. During the research phase, the most challenging aspect was to find people grilling in the Rantaraitti area. The cold weather hindered our efforts to find people exploring and enjoying the natural places. I believe that this aspect made a huge difference in our project. Perhaps it would have been easier to find behaviour patterns related to grilling outside if we had done this project in spring or summer season.

On a personal note, it was an unfortunate that we didn’t have time to test our prototype. It would have been beneficial to us if we had tested our concept on a small scale to validate its effect and limits in the intended place, situation and condition, while allowing the users to experience the prototype. When it comes to service design, it’s important to remember that “a design isn’t finished until somebody is using it” (Brenda Laurel).

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