Town planning process

Town planning process

Preparing a town plan is a process with many stages. The parties concerned are entitled to get heard and express their opinions on the plans. The parties concerned are those whose living, work or other conditions may be significantly influenced by the plan. Examples include residents, landowners, right-of-occupancy holders, neighbourhood associations, institutions, entrepreneurs and the authorities.

The dates when you have an opportunity to comment on a pending local land use plan are announced on Kaavakuulutukset. The material for local land use plans is published on Espoo’s website: The material is also available for inspection in Customer service of Technical and Environment Services, Tekniikantie 15, 2nd floor, Otaniemi, and in the city’s Service Points.

Have your say

Town planning projects marked with “Have your say” are at a stage in which the parties concerned are entitled to comment on the plans. If the town planning project is significant, we may arrange a meeting for information and discussion or a workshop for the public. These meetings are usually held in the initial stage of the planning process. They are open to all.


Beginning stage of town planning.

The initiative for preparing or changing a plan may be made by the landowner or the city. Preparation of a plan change begins if the city considers this appropriate.

For major planning projects, the City Planning Committee decides on the starting points and goals of the project.


Preparation stage.

Participation and assessment plan (PAP), an example.

Participation and assessment plan (PAP)

At the beginning of the planning process, a participation and assessment plan (PAP) is drawn up. This plan contains the material produced in the preparation of the town plan. The material usually includes illustrations of the area after the plan has been implemented and reports that may have been drawn up in preparation for the town plan.

The Participation and assessment plan specifies:
• the location of the plan;
• the starting points and goals of the planning process;
• what is being planned and how;
• how the impacts of the plan will be assessed;
• how the interaction for the plan will be organised;
• how the preparation of the plan and decision-making will proceed;
• who is preparing the plan.


The parties concerned may participate in the preparation of the planning process by commenting on the plan.  Written opinions may be delivered to the City of Espoo Registry Office (P.O. Box 1, 02070 City of Espoo) or sent by e-mail to by 3:45 pm on the last day of public review. 


Proposal stage.  

Plan proposal´s plan map, an example.

Plan proposal´s plan map

After the completion of plans, reports and feedback, the City Planning Department prepares a proposal for the town plan on the basis of the participation and assessment plan.

The plan proposal shows the intended uses of the various parts of the planning area and the number and location of buildings. The plan proposal is presented to the City Planning Board that decides on making the proposal available for public review. In minor planning projects, the plan proposal may also be made available for public review by the Director of Urban Planning. At the proposal stage, various authorities are requested to provide statements.

The plan proposal may undergo several public reviews if necessary.


During the review period, the parties concerned may submit written complaints to the City of Espoo Registry Office (P.O. Box 1, 02070 City of Espoo) or by 3:45 pm on the last day of public review. 


 Approval of the plan.

After the review period, the City Planning Department prepares the plan for approval. At this stage, the City Planning Committee processes the complaints and statements it has received on the plan proposal. 

In Espoo, there are three different parties that may approve town plans and changes to them depending on their significance and content. The City Planning Committee approves town plans and changes other than those with a significant impact. Plans involving a land use agreement are approved by the City Board. Major town plans and changes must always be approved by the City Council.

It is possible to appeal the decision to the Helsinki Administrative Court and further to the Supreme Administrative Court.


Entry into force.

If nobody appeals against the decision to approve the town plan, it enters into force when the time for appeal has passed and the entry into force has been officially announced on Kaavakuulutukset.

Appeals against the decision to approve the plan will be heard in the Administrative Court. If the appeals are dismissed, the town plan enters into force when the finality of the court decision and thus the entry into force of the town plan has been officially announced on Kaavakuulutukset.