Planning for wooden multistorey construction –insights from Finland’s municipal civil servants

Florencia Franzini

Municipalities across Finland are promoting wooden multistorey construction as a low-carbon alternative for building construction. However, do attitudes towards implementing these alternatives stem from the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions or because these alternatives are perceived to improve local economies? This research employs a survey to collect the attitudes of Finnish municipal civil servants toward implementing wooden multistorey buildings in their municipalities. The respondents represent a mix of administrative professionals such as planners, real estate managers, building inspectors and other strategic managerial professionals (n = 273, 8% response rate). Their responses reflect views from approximately 8% of all municipal civil servants working on municipal land use and planning issues during 2019. The findings reveal attitudes towards implementing wooden multistorey buildings are engendered by fulfilling ecological development, economic development, technical quality and output efficiency goals. Furthermore, comparing municipal planners to other municipal administrators reveals dissimilar planning logic. Municipal planners holistically prioritize the project’s ecological and economic development outcomes. Other administrators chiefly prioritize economic development outcomes. Hence, some municipal administrators may value wooden multistorey construction primarily as an activity to improve municipal vitality rather than as a holistic spatial planning solution. Future research should identify whether these divergences lead to planning tensions within municipal administrations.

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