Resident participation in land-use planning

Rakennustyömaa. Kuvaaja: Jussi Hellsten.

The goal of the assessment

The main focus of the assessment was on whether resident participation was taking place in urban planning and land-use planning in accordance with legislation and city policies. The 2017–2021 City Strategy stated that Helsinki’s operating model was based on maximum openness and transparency. Helsinki was to strengthen its position as an international pioneer of inclusion and openness. The aim was also to promote dialogue and encourage participation by disadvantaged people.

Conclusions

Resident participation in local detailed planning is achieved in accordance with legislation and city policies. In all the examples selected for the assessment, the city has carried out broader and more varied interactions than the minimum required by the legislation. In all the assessed land-use planning cases, the city’s policies in force during the plan’s preparation have also been followed. In line with the city’s principles, the most important planning projects have offered more and broader opportunities for participation than less important projects. Detailed land-use planning has taken measures for involving less active residents and residents of all areas in the planning processes in their own neighbourhoods. However, the measures aimed at reaching less active groups have been experimental, except for organising online events.

The Audit Committee concludes that

the Urban Environment Division should

  • ensure that appropriate methods of participation for less active residents and resident groups are provided systematically whenever a plan significantly impacts their living environment.

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