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. Espoo currently has five pending component master plans: the Component Master Plan of Bergö–Stora Bodö–Fridheminkallio, the Component Master Plan of Blominmäki, the Component Master Plan of Finnoo, the Component Master Plan of Kaitaa–Iivisniemi and the Component Master Plan of the Archipelago.