1.5 Main elements / 1.6 Main instruments of implementation

One of the main instruments of implementing the objectives indicated in plans is their solutions, expressed graphically and orally. Plans of various levels and types are usually different. In attempting to view it generally, it is possible to mention only some peculiarities.
All master, special and detailed plans contain a graphical part in which territorial zoning is presented one way or another, i.e. a regime of the territory use. There are restrictions of classifying the use of a territory in the system of planning of Lithuania. The Law on Land lays the foundations for them which divide the use of land into 5 "principle specific purposes":
  1. land designated for agricultural purposes;
  2. land designated for forestry purposes;
  3. land designated for water purposes;
  4. land designated for conservation purpose; and
  5. land designated for other purposes.

The Order of the Ministers of Environment and Economics divided the said "principle specific purposes of land use" into greater detail, i.e. into the means and characters of land use.
This classification is especially important in the detailed planning. The solutions of the plan must strictly be integrated in the framework of the said classification. The higher the level of the plan, the more subtle its correlation with that classification; however, the elements of territorial zoning remain. The Regulations for Master Plans require identifying "functional priorities" of the use of the territory in the County master plans. "Functional priorities" are presented in the currently valid General Plan of the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania.
The higher the level of the plan, the more territorial zoning attempts (not only formalized ones in advance) it contains.
A system of communications and engineering infrastructure - roads, streets, indication of their classification, as well as important "points" of communications system, i.e. ports and airports, lines of engineering communications and components are a traditional element of the content of plans.


Drawing No.1. The nature framework of the territory of the Republic of Lithuania and State policy of its conservation. The drawing of the Master (General) Plan of the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania.  

Protected territories - (of natural and cultural heritage) is an inevitable element of master and detailed plans, as well as most of special ones. In theory, there exists a strong idea focusing mainly on protecting the nature framework of the State and its (the State) ecological "backbone" territories in Lithuania. Territorial elements of the nature framework are indicated in the General Plan of the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania. Trends of activities are pointed out in the said elements to a certain extent: it is designated where one has to protect the present condition, to change it, or to restore natural conditions (See, Drawing No. 1)

The classification of towns into centres of various ranks is regarded as a traditional example of the solution of the National Plan. Such classification was applied in the "Scheme of Distributing Productive Forces" in the fifties; it is being also applied to the presently valid General Plan of the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania. However, a "bundle" of "urban framework", i.e. towns, densely populated rural territories among them and communication systems connecting the said is a new element of general planning of the State (See, Drawing No. 2)


Drawing No.2. The urban framework of Lithuania. - The drawing of the General Plan of the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

Characteristics of formulating the objectives of master plans.
The objectives of master plans are indicated rather abstractly for the most part. For instance,
"develop city economy, culture, science and education and other ranges, based on the concept of sustainable development, create a healthy, comfortable to live in and safe environment, unique cityscape, and foster nature diversity; strengthen democracy and city self-governance, unite citizens into communities. Integrate city community needs and co-operate with local civic organisations; initiate and participate in international municipal co-operation projects." Despite the fact that in preparing plan projects, calculations (e.g. dealing with the needs of a living place) are really performed; the objectives are not indicated in plans specifically (in number). Sometimes, there are numbers included in the plan texts; however, mostly they specify forecasts, but not the objectives of the plan. For example, the General Plan of the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania states that "The agrarian territory is foreseen to decrease roughly 0.7 % per cent within a year and the territory of agricultural lands - 0.5 %. " The 1998 General Plan of the Territory of Vilnius City does not indicate any objectives or tasks underlined numeraly.
The objectives of many detailed plans are sometimes relatively pragmatic, e.g. "to change the limits of plots and their territory, establishing the regulations for construction."
Special plans do not often indicate the parameters of concrete objectives, as well. For instance, the following are the objectives of the Concept of the Special Plan of Distribution of Skyscrapers in Vilnius City:

  1. to create preconditions for the harmonious distribution of skyscrapers in a city while protecting and consistently developing general components of the urban structure - silhouette, panorama, diversity of town sceneries - significant signs of town image and cultural identity;
  2. to provide for the means and restrictions determining preservation of valuable elements of town visual identity, as well as of natural and cultural values;
  3. to establish territories for the preparation of the solutions of the special plan on skyscrapers and formulate the principle provisions on the concept of their development.
  4. to create preconditions for the harmonious distribution of skyscrapers in a city while protecting and consistently developing general components of the urban structure - silhouette, panorama, diversity of town sceneries - significant signs of town image and cultural identity;
  5. to provide for the means and restrictions determining preservation of valuable elements of town visual identity, as well as of natural and cultural values;
  6. to establish territories for the preparation of the solutions of the special plan on skyscrapers and formulate the principle provisions on the concept of their development.

Means for realizing the solutions of plans.
In relation to this question, it will be said that there is a provision on having a system of realization means of plans: Lithuanian statutory basis requires preparing programmes pertaining to the realization of plans. Practice still stands behind the provisions; it is true that it is quite different in the preparation of various plans.
Thus far, financial substantiation of the solutions of plans (with the exception of detailed and some special plans) has been rather tenuous in Lithuania. It is possible to compare Lithuanian master plans with the rules of the road. The rules "work", if someone drives; these rules as such do not make the car drive. A plan performs the role of activity restrictions rather than of its programme. This can easily be proved by the fact that most of the solutions of the 1998 Master Plan of Vilnius City failed to be implemented until the beginning of the plan preparation of a new city in 2005.
However, there are some changes in that direction. In preparing strategic (e.g. towns) development plans, it is attempted to calculate how much the intended actions will cost, what sources they might be appropriated from? That is to say - might be appropriated; nobody knows whether they (intended actions) are financed or not, there are no assurances at all. Still, in preparing the territory plan after the strategic one, financing planning attempts were made beyond it (territory plan). At present, in preparing a new Vilnius City General Plan, endeavours have been made to step forward and further on, it has been calculated how much the realization of the foreseen changes of the city would cost. Having assessed the municipal revenue last year, it became apparent that the said revenue would not be sufficient to defray even half of those expenses. It is not clear who will defray them or if defrays them at all.
In the activities of municipalities, there are certain attempts made to co-ordinate the actions of the authorities and private sector; however, it has not developed into the extensive co-operation in preparing master plans.
The preparation of special plans is a bit different matter to be considered. Here, we can speak about the plans of the State or municipality construction (e.g. making a circuit of the town). In these cases, plans are sometimes financed; measures are taken to redeem the land, and the like.
A completely different situation comes at the level of detailed planning. Major part of detailed plans are prepared practically by private persons (here, municipalities' powers are limited; they only issue conditions, co-ordinate and approve projects). In such cases, money is always lurking behind the detailed plans, while in cases of bigger projects, experts and consultants are necessary.
Speaking about the implementation of plans, it is of great importance not only to focus on formulation of the objectives and solutions of plans, special means of their realization, but also on interrelationship of those plans: after all, acting in accordance with the solutions of the higher level plans, the plans of a lower level can also contribute to their realization. As far as interrelationship of plans is concerned, it is discussed in greater detail thereunder ( 2 Planning legislation and jurisdiction) - here, we will only note that various Lithuanian laws allow us to view the interrelationship of plans in a different light. In such a situation, realization of plans, especially application of sanctions to non-compliance with plans is a real predicament. It is proved by practice. Sometimes, disputes concerning non-compliance with the solutions of plans are sunk in long legal proceedings (but there are people who were defeated and even penalized).

In attempting to generally overview the path from the objectives of plans till construction practice, it is practically possible to observe the fact that the solutions of detailed plans have most realistically and explicitly reached a life practice (especially - in the central parts of towns). Here, construction mostly corresponds to the planned purpose of land and regimes, non-designated streets, and the like.
As the solutions of master plans are not financed quite well, it is not clear when and what will happen or if it happens at all according to those plans. The solutions of master planes were changed by municipalities relatively freely on the run of the Law on territorial planning warding 1995 (Table 1, page 64).
It is more difficult to examine the practical aspect of the elements of the master plan of the State territory. The categories of centres and "urban framework" have some political significance in distributing the State budget and investments. The motive of the nature framework at the stage of analysis is designated in master plans of all levels (counties, towns); however, implementation of the elements of the National plan at the stage of solutions is subjected to various interpretations in master plans: authenticity of the nature framework is restored even in leaving forests and developing rural economy in them, as well as occupying it. This is partly because of the fact that a practical content of formulating the solutions of the master plan of the State has not been clarified; moreover, there have been rather a small amount of the county plans being prepared which would have to concretize the solutions of the master plan of the State in the system of planning in Lithuania.