Planning process and participation
Planning is a multi-stage process from the introduction to the approval of a plan. The nature and significance of a plan have an effect on the process. For example, the process related to significant plans, partial city plans for large areas and city plans is more extensive and involves more opportunities to participate.
Helsinki’s land use is planned in such ways that those interested have the opportunity to obtain information and participate in the planning process. You can assess a project at various stages of the process and express your opinion. You can comment by mail and e-mail, participate in meetings and online discussions, and contact the planner directly.
How does a planning process begin?
An initiative for the preparation of a plan can be made by the land owner and various actors in the city. The preparation of a revision to a plan is begun if the City considers it appropriate.
At first, an outline is produced on how the planning project will proceed. This is called a participation and assessment plan. It includes the goals and premises of the planning work, how the preparation of the plan and decision making will proceed, how people can participate in the preparation and how the impacts of the plan are assessed. The participation and assessment plan also states how the planning process is communicated.
The first phase often also includes the drafting of other preparatory materials, which provide an initial description of the purpose of use of each area in the planning phase as well as the amount and location of construction. In addition to the person responsible for preparing the plan, experts from various fields are in charge of the planning depending on the planning site.
Who prepares plans?
Plans in Helsinki are prepared by the City Planning Department.
How to obtain information about the beginning of a planning process?
The beginning of a planning process is communicated:
- usually in the Planning Review as concerns significant planning projects,
- on these webpages
- by mail to those concerned including the land owner, housing companies (property managers), businesses, resident and housing associations and societies
- in a newspaper as seen appropriate.
How to participate at the early stage?
The participation and assessment plan and other preparatory material can be reviewed at the City Hall, at the Urban Environment Division´s Service Department, on these webpages and often at a library or other public place near the area under planning. You can express your opinion on the goals of the planning process, participation and the impact assessment. When necessary, a public meeting is held. Written comments are submitted to the Registrar's Office. Comments may also be given face to face to the person preparing the plan.Written comments are submitted to the Registrar's Office. Comments may also be given face to face to the person preparing the plan.
How is a draft plan produced?
A plan is prepared in accordance with the participation and assessment plan. The draft plan and other plan documents tentatively describe the purposes of the different parts of area under planning, the scope of construction and the placement of structures.
Who makes a draft plan?
A draft plan is produced by the planner in charge of the plan preparation and various experts depending on the area under planning.
Where to obtain information about a draft plan?
A draft plan is communicated in the manner reported in the participation and assessment plan:
- on these webpages,
- by mail to those concerned including the land owner, housing companies (property managers), businesses, resident and housing associations and societies, and
- in a newspaper as seen appropriate.
How to participate at the draft stage?
The planning solutions are presented in a draft plan, which is put on display for comments at the City Hall, at the information and exhibition space Laituri, on these webpages and often at a library or other public place near the area under planning. Those interested can express their opinions and make proposals for improvements to the plan. Often a public meeting and/or a plan exhibit or other is organized.
Opinions in writing should be delivered to the City Register Office. You can also express your opinion orally to the planner who has prepared the plan.
What is a plan proposal?
A plan proposal is prepared on the basis of the preparatory materials, taking into consideration the opinions submitted earlier as far as possible. The proposal is the City Planning Department’s finalized view of the area for decision making. The proposal includes a map of the plan with plan markings and plan regulations as well as a plan review.
Who decides on a plan proposal?
A plan proposal is presented to the Urban Environment Committee. A proposal is put on display either before or after the committeet processing. Expert statements required by the law and other necessary statements on the plan proposal are obtained.
Where to receive information about a plan proposal?
An announcement on a plan proposal put on display and rights to protest the proposal is published on the city's webpages.
Land owners and land holders outside the city are informed about the plan proposal put on display by mail.
The plan proposal is on display at the City Hall and at the Urban Environment Division´s Customer Service Department, as well as on the website for either 30 or 14 days (the latter in case of a small revision to a plan).
What to do if you are unsatisfied with a proposal?
A resident can make a written protest on a plan proposal. The protest must be delivered to the City Register Office by the closing date of the display period. Depending on the significance of the plan proposal, the proposal is on display for either 30 or 14 days.
How is a plan approved?
The planner who has prepared the plan responds to the statements and protests and revises the plan as necessary. A response with the City’s arguments is mailed to the commentators who have provided a mailing address. After this, the City Planning Committee deals with the plan proposal once more. If the revisions are significant, the proposal is again put on public display.
Revisions of the town plan that do not carry significant impacts are approved by the Urban Environment Committee. If the plan has significant impacts, the plan proposal is first processed by the Helsinki City Board and then the Council.
Who approves a plan?
Detailed plans and revisions to detailed plans are approved by the City Council except for small revisions to detailed plans, which are approved by the City Planning Committee.
Where to obtain information about plan approval?
The approval of a plan is communicated with an announcement. The announcement is published on the city website.
The decision is always communicated to the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment as well as to those authorities, residents and people with protests who requested in writing to be informed when the plan was on display.
How to appeal a decision?
Anyone unsatisfied with a decision to approve a plan can appeal the decision to the Helsinki District Court and further to the Supreme Administrative Court.
PLAN GOES INTO EFFECT
How does a plan take effect?
If the decision to approve a plan is not appealed, a detailed plan takes effect after the period to appeal closes with an announcement published on city website.
If a plan is appealed, the plan goes into effect if the appeal is rejected. In this case a detailed plan goes into effect with a public announcement made only after the court proceedings.