When Urban Planning Doctrine Meets Low Density Countryside

  • 1 Senior Researcher, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland, Yliopistokatu 2, P.O. Box 111, FI 80101 Joensuu, Finland

Abstract

Drawing on an empirical analysis of Finnish local policy-makers’ views on land use planning aims in rural areas, this paper investigates local responses to the new national planning regulations set out by the Government. According to the new norms, a dense settlement structure should be promoted not only in urban centres but also in rural areas in order to curb climate change and improve the viability of communities. Based on the data obtained from an internet-based survey conducted by a regional newspaper in western Finland before municipal elections in 2008 and 2012, this paper shows that the majority of the local policy-makers challenge the new norms. They do not believe that sustainable development can be promoted by constraining building rights in the rural region characterised by a dispersed settlement structure.

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