The central goals of Helsinki planning are based on the city's strategic programme approved by the City Council and on the action plan for housing and land use (the MA programme)
The strategic programme and the MA programme set Helsinki’s goal at producing an average of 5,000 new apartments each year with good public transport connections. In addition to the construction of new neighbourhoods, another goal is to use complementary construction to get new residents and a more diverse population structure for older neighbourhoods in order to secure services in those areas.
Yet another goal is to place new neighbourhoods and complementary construction in the service areas of existing and future railway networks and thus unify the community structure, which in turn will promote climate change prevention.
The city has set a goal of looking after business growth requirements in order to safeguard jobs and community tax revenue.
The city wants to develop the traffic system mainly based on rail traffic, but also by improving the service level of public transport and the possibilities for walking and cycling.
In addition of Helsinki’s own goals, planning is also guided by the national land use guidelines set by the Finnish Government. They affect Helsinki planning by guiding the Uudenmaa regional master plan, which in turn guides the Helsinki master plan and through it the local plans. The regional master plan is drawn up by the Uusimaa Regional Council. Planning matters are also regulated by the Land Use Building Act and the Land Use and Building Decree.