Strategic planning answers to the needs of the future and thus creates a solution where the future conflicts could be avoided.

Strategic planning as a tool for future positive development

The purpose of strategic planning is to open up the possibilities for future positive development of the region. By indentifying the most crucial questions for the region and/or area, strategic planning will try to answer to the needs of the future. Strategic planning should also predict the possible conflicts between different interests (political, economical, financial, environmental etc) and thus create a solution where the future conflicts could be avoided.

One of the biggest uncertainties in the future, the climate change, should be implemented into strategic planning. Strategic planning should be kept on a rather large scale – enabling a more holistic approach. The stress in strategic planning is more on the overall functionality of the area in the future, when the future needs, ecological, economical, social, and demographical, are all considered. 

Identify and promote the direction of the development in land use in the area

Strategic plans can be created on various different levels: municipal, cooperation between municipals, or county level. Thematic strategic plans are another good tool, if the aim is to for example promote the possibilities of certain activity (e.g. tourism) in certain area – and to find the linkages between different areas in the region.

Strategic planning should also motivate the cooperation between the different stakeholders; cooperation can be encouraged by recognising the motives of the different stakeholders and understanding the importance of their different perspectives.

Strategic plan brings together various actors – not all of them are necessary directly involved in planning on the municipal (or county) level. Strategic plans can also be thematic, i.e. energy or mobility. Strategic planning is the promotion of acertain chosen, direction.

Implementation of the strategic plans can work via regional, general and detail plans. Since in many cases the strategic plans are not legally binding, the monitoring of the strategy developed has a crucial role. Planning decisions that contradict the strategy can quickly lead to the loss of the benefits and opportunities that were to be achieved through the strategic plan.

See also other categories in planning for climate change mitigation and adaptation:

» Local climate and the future climate scenarios
» Compact and diverse urban structure
» Sustainable transportation
» Energy efficiency
» Comfortable and healthy environment
» Public participation and stakeholder involvement
» Costs