Living environment and urban structure
Street Cafe, Helsinki.
Photo: Jussi Rautsi
The characteristics of the built
environment and the quality of residential environments are key factors in the successful functioning of communities.
The quality of the residential
environment can affect economic opportunities and the competitiveness of communities, as well as the health of their residents.
As mobility and migration have
increased within Finland, the characteristics of local areas have become a more important factor when people choose where to make their homes.
Working to create healthy, safe and functional communities
Finnish legislation on land use and building defines quality requirements for residential environments and the spatial structure of communities.
Good residential environments must be healthy, safe, pleasant, and socially functional. The environmental administration provides valuable information on the significance of environmental quality for residents, and also helps local authorities to adopt participatory planning procedures.
Built-up areas in Finland typically use much more land per inhabitant than built-up areas in other western countries, or even in the other Nordic countries.
One strategic aim of the environmental administration is to integrate the spatial structure of communities better, in order to reduce traffic and emissions, and to improve the aesthetic aspects and functioning of communities.
For more information
Mr. Matti Vatilo, Director, Urban Development and Cultural Heritage, Ministry of the Environment
Tel. +358 40 506 1168