Revised national land use guidelines: towards a low-carbon society

Press release 2017-12-14 at 13:58

Today, on 14 December, the Finnish Government gave a decision on the revised national land use guidelines. The purpose of the guidelines is to make sure that matters of national significance are taken into account in the planning and in actions taken by public authorities.

The aim is to reduce municipal and transport emissions, protect and preserve biodiversity and the values of cultural environments, and provide better opportunities for renewal to livelihoods and economic activities. The guidelines also contribute to the efforts to adapt to climate change and extreme weather events and their consequences.

“Our aim is a low-carbon society where both humans and the natural environment are doing well and the opportunities exist for business and enterprises to renew their operations. Sustainable land use solutions are an absolute necessity. Nearby environments that generate wellbeing for the residents, diverse natural environments, sustainable urban structures, and feasible energy solutions go hand in hand in the guidelines, which also support Finland in meeting our international commitments,” says Kimmo Tiilikainen, the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing of Finland. 

Fewer but clearer objectives 

The revised objectives focus on five main themes:           

  • Functioning communities and sustainable traffic
  • Efficient transport systems
  • Healthy and safe environment
  • Viable natural and cultural environment and natural resources
  • Energy supply capable of renewal

The number of objectives has been cut from 70 to 17. Any overlaps with sectoral legislation have been abolished.  There are no longer specific objectives for individual regions but all of the objectives concern the whole country.  Minister Tiilikainen is very happy with the new guidelines. “The municipalities will have more powers in land use planning, as we promised in our Government Programme”, he says.  

The work on the reform of the national land use guidelines got started in February 2016 and it was done in close collaboration with the relevant stakeholders.  The first national land use guidelines were issued in 2000 and they were revised in 2008. The legal implications of the guidelines are the same as before the reform.


Tea Usvasuo, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 46 922 8946,
Timo Turunen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 250 303,