New Finnish Government must continue metropolitan policy

Uutta Helsinkiä

Continuity in metropolitan policy is emphasized in the objectives for the new Government Programme approved by the Helsinki Region Cooperation Assembly, the cooperation body of the region’s 14 municipalities, at the Assembly meeting of 28 March 2019. The metropolitan policy is a policy to solve special issues of the Helsinki Region and to strengthen the competitiveness of the region and Finland as a whole. Systematic planning of land use, housing and transport is of crucial importance for the development of the Helsinki Region. 

“The shared objectives of the 14 municipalities and cities of the Helsinki Region for the new Government Programme are based on the metropolitan policy for the entire region. The new Finnish Government must commit itself to the development of the Helsinki Region. Key aspects in this regard include inputs and investments into the development of transport in this growing region. A systematic metropolitan policy ensures sustainable growth in the entire region. The region should be developed into an innovation and competence hub, and the region’s opportunities to create new jobs should be strengthened. This supports the competitiveness of the whole country. The metropolitan policy must also ensure sufficient placement in education and training, strengthen integration and provide opportunities to develop public transport,” states Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori, Chairman of the Helsinki Region Cooperation Assembly. 

MAL 2019 plan to ensure ambitious development of HelsinkiRegion

The Helsinki Region Cooperation Assembly approved the MAL 2019 plan of the 14 municipalities and cities ­– that is, the plan for land use, housing and transport – in terms of land use and housing and decided to pass the plan on to municipalities for approval. Before approval, the plan was amended with a number of alterations approved by the Assembly meeting. The plan comprises regional activities in land use, housing and transport by 2030 and by 2050. The Executive Board of the Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) municipal authority approved the transport content of the MAL 2019 plan at a meeting for its member municipalities on 26 March 2019. Those municipalities of the region that are not HSL members will approve the transport content of the MAL 2019 plan on municipal basis as the plan is forwarded to them by the KUUMA Executive Board of the region’s 10 KUUMA municipalities.  

The MAL agreement of the Helsinki Region municipalities and the Finnish State for 2016–2019 states that the region will continue shared planning of land use, housing and transport on the basis of previous plans. The MAL 2019 plan is based on the projection that the population of the Helsinki Region will be 2 million and the region will have 1.05 million jobs in 2050. The region should continue to be developed ambitiously as a healthy and appealing region for citizens, workforce and investments.  

Planning in the region should be committed to the goal of improving the availability of workforce by 10 percent or more from the current level to 2030. Another goal of planning is to mitigate social divergence among residential areas. A binding goal with planning is to cut emissions from transport in the Helsinki Region by no less than 50 percent from 2005 to 2030. 

The criteria used in the evaluation of planning solutions include those related to housing production. No less than 90 percent of housing production should take place in land use zones prioritized in regional development. The share of sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport should be no less than 70 percent of all journeys, and no less than 85 percent of the population should live in sustainable transport zones. 

The Helsinki Region Cooperation Assembly is a cooperationbody comprising the leading elected officials of the Helsinki Region’s 14municipalities. The cooperation embraces the cities of the HelsinkiMetropolitan Area (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen) and the KUUMAmunicipalities (Järvenpää,Nurmijärvi, Tuusula, Kerava, Mäntsälä, Pornainen, Hyvinkää, Kirkkonummi, Vihtiand Sipoo). The Helsinki RegionCooperation Assembly is chaired by the Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori. TheAssembly’s First Vice Chair is the Chairman of the Vihti Municipal Council EerikkiViljanen and Second Vice Chair is the Chairman of the Espoo City Council JyrkiKasvi.

Read more:

HelsinkiRegion Cooperation Assembly

HelsinkiRegion Cooperation Assembly’s objectives for Government Programme (PDF, in Finnish)

MAL2019: Land use, housing and transport in Helsinki Region (PDF, in Finnish)