The most important legislation controlling land use, spatial planning and construction in Finland is contained in the Land Use and Building Act, which came into force in 2000.
The Land Use and Building Act aims:
to organise land use and building to create the basis for high quality living environments,
to promote ecologically, economically, socially and culturally sustainable developments,
to ensure that everyone has the chance to participate in open planning processes,
to guarantee the quality of openly publicised planning decisions and participatory processes, and to ensure that a wide range of planning expertise is available.
These general objectives are supplemented by more specific objectives relating to controls over land use planning and construction. All of these objectives have been designed to help make living environments healthy, safe, attractive and socially functional, with the needs of different groups fully considered.
More detailed regulations and controls on land use and construction are included in the Land Use and Building Decree.
Land Use and Building Act (
) Unofficial translation (pdf)
Land Use and Building Decree (
) - Unofficial translation (pdf)
Finland´s National Building Code
The National Building Code contains regulations and guidelines that complement the legislation in the Land Use and Building Act.
The building regulations must be followed, but building guidelines are not obligatory, and other solutions may be used in construction as long as all the compulsory regulations are observed.
Preserving built heritage and cultural landscapes
The Land Use and Building Act also forms the basis for the maintenance and protection of Finland´s architectural heritage and cultural landscapes.
Other legislation protecting the built environment and landscapes can be found in the Building Protection Act and the Nature Conservation Act as well as statutes established in other administrative sectors (including the Church Act).