Finland has a long history in transport system planning and in the integration of land use and transport system planning. Transport system planning is implemented at several levels: national, regional and urban regions/cities.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for drawing up the 12-year National Transport System Plan. The National Transport System Plan is a strategic plan for developing the transport system at the national level, drawn up in accordance with section 15b of the Act on the Transport System and Highways (503/2005). The first National Transport System Plan for 2021–2032 was approved by the Finnish government following submission to the Parliament as a report in 2021.
The National Transport System Plan includes a description of the current state of the transport system and changes in the operating environment; a vision for transport system development; objectives set for the Plan; and an action plan containing measures addressing the central and local governments, in order to achieve its objectives. The Plan also includes a government funding programme and a summary of its impact assessment. The National Transport System Plan was drawn up with guidance from a parliamentary steering group and in broad cooperation with stakeholders. The National Transport System plan is updated regularly.
The regional councils in Finland are responsible for transport system planning in the regions, managing co-operation within the planning and coordination of the planning with other kinds of regional planning. Almost every city region in Finland has a transport system plan of its own. The municipalities of a city region and the local Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment are responsible for the planning. The city regions conduct systematic transport system planning, which focuses on the entire transport system and covers all transport modes. Enriching the existing plans would transform them into comprehensive sustainable urban mobility plans.
Besides the city regional transport system plans, agreements concerning land use, housing and transport were also concluded by the Finnish Government with the seven largest urban regions (Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Lahti). The purpose of these agreements is to facilitate and support the cooperation between municipalities in urban regions, and between municipalities and the central government with regard to the guidance related to the urban structure and coordination of land use, housing and transport. The key aim is to improve the functioning and competitiveness of urban regions and ensure a balanced development of the municipalities. The effectiveness of these agreements is monitored by indicators related to sustainable and low-carbon urban structure and transport systems, as well as to the quality of housing and habitats. The first report was published in spring 2023.
Some cities have implemented sustainable mobility plans of their own. There are 11 sustainable mobility plans in Finland, fulfilling the key elements of the SUMP-model. The focus of all of the plans is to promote sustainable urban mobility, to minimize traffic emissions and to create a sustainable living environment.
Municipalities and larger city regions also draft their own energy and climate strategies where different transport actions are involved as well as traffic safety plans, plans for promoting walking and cycling and plans for sustainable and safe mobility. Other plans include strategic plans for health, welfare, teaching, business and circular economy.
Member State contact:
Hanna Perälä, Ministry for Transport and Communications, Hanna.Perala@gov.fi
There are several strategies and plans steering the transport system planning in Finland::
- National Transport System Plan for 2021–2032 (2021)
- Roadmap for Fossil-free Transport (2021) (in Finnish)
- Land use, housing and transport agreements
- Programme for the promotion of walking and cycling (2018)
- Traffic Safety Strategy 2022–2026 (in Finnish)