The Strategic Incrementalism of Lahti Master Planning : Three Lessons

Raine Mäntysalo*, Johanna Tuomisaari, Kaisa Granqvist, Vesa Kanninen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


The city of Lahti, Finland, has developed a unique policy of combining city strategy work with strategic master planning in an iterative process. It thereby offers insights to research on strategic spatial planning, exemplifying how institutional frameworks of statutory planning can be utilized as resources in strategic planning. Three lessons from the Lahti case are drawn: (1) utilize the moments of opportunity in the institutional environment of statutory planning, (2) shift the focus from the level of ‘strategic plans’ to the policy level of strategy work, (3) develop strategic planning as a platform for diverse ‘languages’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-572
Number of pages18
JournalPlanning Theory and Practice
Issue number4
Early online date23 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Finland
  • institutional rules
  • land use planning
  • policy
  • Strategic spatial planning

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