Master planning process in stages

Master plans guide the city’s development in the long term. When a master plan or a partial master plan is being prepared, the aim is to look ahead into the future decades and steer changes in the desired direction.

Master planning is a multi-stage process, during which the plan becomes more detailed with each stage. Residents and other interested parties can participate in the process at different stages. 

Stages of the master planning process in brief 

During the starting stage, the planners collect background information on the area in question. The City Planning Department will publish a participation and assessment scheme that provides information, among other things, on the starting points of the plan as well as on participation and an impact assessment. Objectives are set for the plan. 

During the preparation stage, the planners prepare a draft plan that is made available for public review for at least 30 days. Residents and other interested parties can express their opinion on the plan. The impacts of the plan will be assessed based on the draft plan. 

During the proposal stage, the planners prepare a plan proposal, in which they take account of the interested parties’ opinions, authority statements and the impact assessment. The proposal will be made available for public review for at least 30 days, during which the interested parties can submit objections. 

During the approval stage, the planners make revisions to the plan proposal based on the objections and authority statements. The plan will then go through the approval process. 

The master plan will enter into force based on the City Council’s decision if there have been no appeals or after legal proceedings if the appeals are dismissed. 

The planning process is coordinated by a multidisciplinary planning team at the City Planning Department. During the process, the City Planning Department negotiates with authorities and neighbouring municipalities several times. Authorities involved in the preparation of a master plan include the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre), the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, the rescue department, the Finnish Defence Forces and electricity network companies.  

Below you can find more detailed descriptions of the different stages and participation during the planning process. 

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