Development-led planning practices in a plan-led planning system : empirical evidence from Finland

Eero Valtonen*, Heidi Falkenbach, Kauko Viitanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
136 Downloads (Pure)


Planning systems are generally divided into plan-led and development-led systems. However, it is quite common that the planning practice follows development-led planning although the planning system would structurally be plan-led. To study how development-led planning affects the implementation of large-scale urban development projects, we conducted a cross-sectional survey in Finland – a country with a hierarchical setting of legally binding zoning plans which can be prepared by following either plan-led or development-led practices. The survey respondents were civil servants managing implementation of large-scale urban development projects. Our results quite surprisingly suggest that development-led planning may cause the projects to become more vulnerable to property market uncertainty compared to the projects following the plan-led practises. These results challenge the usual output-based legitimation of development-led planning to some extent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1075
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number6
Early online date16 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • development
  • implementation
  • land-use
  • Planning
  • survey
  • urban


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