1.3 The Scope of Application and Purpose of the Planning Act

PLA regulates the relations between the state, local governments and other persons in the preparation of plans. The purpose of this act is to ensure conditions which take into account the needs and interests of the widest possible range of members of society for balanced and sustainable spatial development, spatial planning, land use and building. The Planning Act defines spatial planning as democratic and functional long-term planning for spatial development which co-ordinates and integrates the development plans of various fields and which, in a balanced manner, takes into account the long-term directions in and needs for the development of the economic, social, cultural and natural environment (1 subsection 3). The definition is based on that of the European Regional/Spatial Planning Charter, adopted in 1983.