Four local master plans supplement the City Plan 2016. Local master plans are prepared for Länsiväylä area, Viikinranta-Lahdenväylä, Östersundom och Vartiosaari.

City plans are long-term land use plans​

Planning defines how residential areas, workplaces, green areas, transportation and traffic and other components of the city are laid out. Planning is divided into different levels, from general to more detailed planning.

Levels of planning

A city plan is a long-term land use plan that guides the development of the city structure. A city plan for the whole of Helsinki has been drawn up approximately every ten years, steering detailed planning. Helsinki’s current city plan, City Plan 2016, came into force in December 2018. Helsinki Administrative Court and the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland repealed certain parts of the city plan. In these areas, the 2002 city plan and the valid partial city plans remained in effect.

Detailed plans define the uses of the area and scope of construction. The regulations specify building heights, street widths and other matters that impact the structure of the area and cityscape. A detailed plan can cover an entire residential area or only one site.

Local master plans supplement the City Plan 2016

The schedule for the local master plans is linked to the realisation of the city plan implementation programme and city strategy.

Local master plans on the map

The City Plan 2016 approved the principles of a railway network city and the expansion of the inner city. Significant new land use is planned in the surroundings of motorway areas, station areas, rail traffic hubs and the existing and future major rail traffic stops. Up to 45% of new residential buildings will be complementary construction in existing residential areas.

According to the population forecast, Helsinki’s population will increase to approximately 825,000 residents by 2050. In 2060, the population is predicted to be 870,000 people.

Helsinki in 2050:

  • comfortable, interesting and safe metropolis with smooth everyday life
  • dense urban structure supporting various styles of living on an equal basis
  • adequate supply of various kinds of housing provided in the districts
  • enough business premises available in attractive locations
  • mobility is based on the public transport network
  • promotes public transport, cycling and walking as modes of transport
  • motorway-like routes and their surroundings have been adopted for construction use
  • specialities and strengths include seaside location, natural attraction and cultural-history sights
  • maritime environment that offers opportunities for recreation, entrepreneurship and housing throughout the year and is accessible to citizens.

City plan objectives are specified in the report Starting points for the city plan and the work schedule (in Finnish) and the city plan description Urban plan – the new Helsinki city plan (in Finnish).

A city plan can be complemented or revised with a local master plan prepared for a more limited area, which is usually a more detailed master plan than the city-wide plan.

A local master plan identifies the area’s key community structure and focuses on issues that are central to the urban structure, such as housing, the location of workplaces and services, transport connections, and the recreational and green network. A local master plan steers the detailed planning of the area.

Participate and influence in the local master planning

You can follow the planning of and opportunities to participate in the local master plans to start in 2022 on the following pages:

City strategy sets the direction for sustainable growth

In addition to the city plan, urban planning in Helsinki is also guided by the City Strategy (A Place of Growth – Helsinki City Strategy 2021–2025, in Finnish) and the housing and land use programme (AM programme).

Helsinki’s growth is based on long-term city planning and urban planning, enabling new apartments and business premises to be completed every year. As the number of residents increases, the city’s economy will also grow. Investments aim for functionality, comfort and beauty.

Helsinki’s sustainable growth must benefit all the residents – there must be good schools, daycare centres, libraries, local sports venues and safe and well-planned comfortable environments everywhere in Helsinki.

Helsinki’s climate objectives are taken into account in particular in urban construction, mobility and energy solutions. In order to adapt to climate change, the number of trees and greenery in the city will be increased.

Helsinki plans and builds attractive, comfortable and beautiful urban spaces both in the new and old areas. The aim is to accelerate the growth of housing production, curb the rise in housing costs, create balanced districts and increase housing density.

The city structure will be developed primarily by renovating and complementing the existing built environment with consideration to the specificities of the areas. Complementary construction will take the nearby nature into account, and the most valuable nature areas in Helsinki will not be built.

The proportion of public transport, walking and cycling as modes of transport will be increased. The implementation of the rail transport network city will be continued by promoting the planning and realisation of the light rail projects.

Housing and land use programme specifies the number of dwellings built

The Housing and land use programme 2020 (in Finnish) aims to ensure sufficient and diverse housing production. The objective is to create dynamic areas, prevent segregation and further develop the housing stock and residential real estate property.

At least 7,000 new and converted dwellings are built in Helsinki each year. Starting from 2023, the annual number will be at least 8,000 dwellings. Housing construction is conducted in a sustainable way, conserving nature and green areas.

A sufficient proportion of family dwellings, i.e. housing units with at least two bedrooms, will be ensured in the production of owner-occupied housing. Apartments for families with children will be built in sufficient numbers both in new and complementary construction sites. The apartment type control ensures sufficient construction of family dwellings.

Complementary construction accounts for half of the annual housing construction in suburban areas.

From 2023 onwards, the tenure type distribution target shall be as follows:

• 30% long-term regulated ARA rental housing (of which 500 student and youth housing)

• 20% intermediate housing

• 50% non-regulated owner-occupied and rented housing

The development programme for blocks of flats housing is continued. Sustainable construction will be promoted, for example, in accordance with the Carbon-Neutral Helsinki Action Plan.


Updated 3.2.2022