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Helsinki City Plan

Helsinki City Plan

FAC Director, Stephen M. Purcell travels to Helsinki for an ongoing project this week: “I am delighted to be in Helsinki for a FAC project this coming week. Actually, by coincidence, Helsinki Design Week ends today, and in my preparations for my work-trip, I have been reading with interest the Helsinki City Plan, which sets out a vision for the city towards 2050. A summary is found here.


The City Plan does not clearly delineate the boundaries for land use allocation. Instead, the Plan map consists of squares of one hectare, or 100 x 100 metres, each. Each square is marked according to its primary use. The land use of adjacent squares may also be planned by taking into consideration the primary uses of both squares. Any demarcation issues will be resolved in detailed planning. Areas that are primarily residential are shown in different shades of brown. In addition to housing, these areas contain parks, businesses, services, recreational areas and streets.


The Plan itself was adopted in 2016, following an extensive consultation period with an “Interactive Planning Process”.


Interestingly, a cursory check on indicates you would need around €4,525.80 in Dublin to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with €3,900.00 in Helsinki (assuming you rent in both cities). This calculation uses the Cost of Living Plus Rent Index to compare cost of living, and assumes net earnings (after income tax). It is always interesting to gauge the condition of the city and the position its residents and visitors find themselves in.


FAC has been participating in and coordinating European Commission-funded research projects for many years, and we are lucky to learn massively from the experiences of our partners in other Member States, in plan-making and policy development, etc. For more, visit or email