Regional land use planning

The regional land use plan transfers national and regional land use goals to the local level.

Each of Finland's 18 regions is covered by a regional land use plan. These general plans set out medium-term and long-term objectives for regional land use strategies that guide regional development and steer decisions on issues that are of a trans-municipal or regional nature.

Drafting and ratification of the regional land use plan

Regional land use plans are drafted by regional councils, whose members are representatives from the municipalities. Individual citizens and non-governmental organizations are fully entitled to participate in the planning process.

Regional councils also approve regional land use plans.

Content of a regional land use plan

A regional land use plan sets out a general framework for the more detailed local plans, which are prepared by the municipalities. The regional council must also ensure that the plan promotes the implementation of the national land use guidelines.

When the plan is being drawn up, special attention is given to the following:

  • appropriate regional and community structure of the region,
  • ecological sustainability of land use,
  • environmentally and economically sustainable arrangement of transport and technical services,
  • sustainable use of water and extractable land resources,
  • operating conditions for the region's businesses,
  • protection of landscape, natural values, and cultural heritage,
  • sufficient availability of areas suitable for recreation.

Regional land use plans are legally binding, but nevertheless they leave plenty of scope for the municipalities to resolve local land use and development issues.

To ensure that regional land use plans provide suitable guidelines for the local plans, they are reassessed and updated regularly according to the changing conditions.

For more information

Ms Ulla Koski, Director, Spatial Planning, Ministry of the Environment , Tel. +358 50 300 6358,

Published 2013-07-16 at 11:57, updated 2016-02-02 at 16:46