Levels of planning
Town planning is used to regulate land use and construction. A plan defines how residential areas, workplaces, green areas, transportation and traffic and other components of the city are laid out. Town planning is divided into different planning levels. The more general plan dictates planning on more detailed levels.
A city plan is the overall plan for land use and the organization of transportation and traffic. It covers the entire city. The city plan is revised at about ten-year intervals in Helsinki. The city plan steers detailed planning. The city plan can be complemented or revised with a partial city plan prepared for a more limited area. Helsinki’s current city plan (Master Plan 2002) went into effect in 2007 except for the Malmi Airport area. Work on a new Helsinki city plan was begun in the autumn of 2012. Find out more on the Helsinki City Plan pages.
Detailed plans regulate the uses of the area and scope of construction. The regulations define building heights, street widths and other matters that impact the structure of the area and cityscape. A detailed plan can cover an entire residential area or only one site. A detailed plan process usually takes at least a year but can take as long as several years. Construction can begin after a detailed plan has been approved by the City Council, goes into effect and is legally binding.
Large new areas are under planning and development in Helsinki, including Jätkäsaari, Kalasatama, Kruunuvuorenranta and Keski-Pasila (Central Pasila). The scope of planning activities also encompasses infill construction and services for built-up areas. New office and business space is planned for areas where it is appropriate for the city structure. The vitality and quality of the city centre are improved by expanding the pedestrian street network and by renovating commercial quarters.
Information about individual plans is available on Current plans.