The master plan is a general land use plan for outlining the principles underlying the desired development. Its purpose is to indicate the locations of the various utilities of a community, such as housing, services, jobs and recreation areas, as well as to organise the links between these utilities. The City Council approves of the master plan. The plan or its components may be approved as legally effective or ineffective. Small-scale master plans are known as component master plans.
The Regional Land Use Plan drawn up by the Uusimaa Regional Council regulates the preparation of the master plan. The master plan in turn regulates town planning. Espoo has three extensive, legally effective master plans: master plans I and II for the northern parts of Espoo and a master plan for the southern parts of Espoo.
Master planning is an on-going process. The municipality must ensure that master plans are prepared and updated regularly. A master plan for the northern and central areas of Espoo and the next component master plans are currently pending in Espoo: the Component Master Plan of Bergö, the Component Master Plan of Stora Bodö-Lilla Bodö, the Component Master Plan of Finnoo, the Component Master Plan of Finnoonsatama, the Component Master Plan of Kaitaa–Iivisniemi, the Component Master Plan of Kera, the Component Master Plan of Kivenlahti and the Component Master Plan of the Archipelago.