City planning and land use in Finland is based on the Land Use and Building Act.
The regional plan sets out the principles of land use and community structure, and designates areas as necessary for regional development. The regional plans for the Oulu Region are prepared by the Council of Oulu Region and ratified by the Ministry of the Environment.
The Master Plan is the statutory land use plan which guides the city's development in the medium term, over the next 10 to 20 years. The master plans are approved by the local city council. In Oulu the plans are prepared by Urban and Environmental Services.
The local detailed plans are drawn up for the purpose of detailed organisation of land use, building and development. The local detailed plans are approved by the local city council. In Oulu the plans are prepared by the Technical Centre of the City of Oulu.
Oulu Land Use Program 2008–2012
The Oulu Land Use Program 2008–2012 (link only in Finnish) is a voluntary programme which guides the fulfilling of the Master Plan. It defines in which areas work will be accomplished as well as the investments for the next five years.