Land is a finite resource to be used responsibly and sustainably, Source: Depositphotos

Espoo’s sustainable development zeroes in on land use

Espoo’s sustainable development zeroes in on land use

The city has set itself a vision of holistic, multi-dimensional growth with a horizon of 2060

Espoo, a city forming part of the greater Helsinki area, faces a common challenge for European metropolises, how to handle growth in a way that makes it sustainable? The city’s answer was both standard and flexible – create a master plan, but also allow for it to be updated and made through cooperation with the interested stakeholders in urban development.

The creation of the master planning process was launched today with the aim of identifying the directions and the boundaries of growth. In other words, here the focus, among other things will be on the sustainable use of land. That means that all the way up to 2060, the city and its citizens will know how much it will grow geographically and things won’t get out of hand.

Anticipation and guidance of urban development

A master plan is a general plan that guides city planning and further detailed planning and construction. The master plan is usually implemented through city planning, which has its own preparation and participation process. In Espoo, city planning is usually initiated by a landowner.  

In the master plan, we agree on the framework for the city’s growth and development,” says Essi Leino, Master Planning Manager at Espoo’s City Planning Department, adding: “The work is extensive and will be completed in stages. At different stages, we will work together with residents, decision-makers, public authorities and other stakeholders.” 

Residents’ views were collected in the preceding two years, and now they will also be invited to participate in crafting the objectives of the plan. The objectives will be finalized by the City Board at the start of 2023, but this will not set the plan in stone. The master plan will be completed during the next city council term, after which it will be regularly updated.

Olli Isotalo, Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, described it like this: “The master plan is a tool for the City to implement the Espoo Story, the City’s strategy, in land use. The world is changing so fast these days that the master plan also has to keep up.”  



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU