Historical archive

T-1049 National Policy Guidelines for coordinated land-use and transport planning

Historical archive

Published under: Brundtland's 3rd Government

Publisher Miljøverndepartementet

Laid down by Royal Decree of 20 August 1993 pursuant to the Planning and Building Act of 14 June 1985, § 17- 1, first paragraph

1. Scope and purpose

The guidelines shall be used as a basis for planning and exercise of authority pursuant to the Planning and Building Act in municipalities and county municipalities, and by national authorities. National authorities should also use the guidelines in the course of their other administrative activities within the frameworks defined by the sector legislation concerned.

The purpose of the guidelines is to achieve better coordination of land-use planning and transport planning, both in the municipalities and across municipalities, sectors and administrative levels.

The guidelines are intended to:

  • describe national objectives of significance for land-use planning and transport planning
  • clarify important principles for what should be emphasized in the planning
  • point out the need for coordination and indicate who is responsible for implementing the guidelines

2. Objectives

The use of land and the system of transport shall be developed in a way that promotes a socio-economically effective use of resources, with environmentally sound solutions, safe local communities and residential environments, good traffic safety and effective flow of traffic. Planning shall be based on a long-term, sustainable perspective. Emphasis shall be placed on achieving good, regional overall solutions across municipal boundaries.

3. Guidelines for achieving coordinated land use and transport planning


Planning of the spatial pattern of development and of the transport system should be coordinated, to promote forms of transport that are as effective, safe and environmentally friendly as possible, and to limit the need for transport.

Emphasis should be placed on achieving solutions which imply that everyday errands can be carried out at a short distance from home, and which effectively coordinate the different means of transport.


An effort. should be made to define clear limits between built-up areas and agricultural areas, nature areas and areas for open-air recreation. As far as possible, an effort should be made not to spread the encroachments into nature.

Along existing main highway and railway networks, priority should be given to maintaining a differentiated system of transport and to future needs to extend the road and railway networks.

Emphasis shall be placed on exploiting the possibilities of increasing the density of buildings in the building zones in towns and urban areas. The development should be designed in a way that helps to conserve green structures, biological diversity and the aesthetic qualities of built-up areas.


The need for effective transport must be weighed against the need to conserve agricultural and nature areas. Decisions concerning the spatial pattern of development, including the system of transport, must be based on comprehensive impact assessments, with particular emphasis on socioeconomic costs, the effects on the long-term goals for agriculture, and the need to protect the natural and the cultural environment.

The spatial pattern of development and the transport system should be designed to avoid re-allocation of large, continuous areas of high quality cultivated or cultivable land. Within walking distance of stations/junctions on the main arteries of the public transport network, development considerations can weigh heavier than conservation, assuming that the planning ensures concentrated development and gives due consideration to cultural environments and green structures.

Building should be avoided on particularly valuable nature areas, including especially valuable cultural landscapes, land close to the sea and to watercourses, areas used for open-air recreation, valuable cultural environments and historic sites.


When designing residential areas and a traffic system, due consideration should be given to national standards and guidelines for environmental quality. When planning new residential areas and road installations, an attempt should be made to locate and design these areas in a way that will preserve environmental quality, so as to avoid a need for remedial measures later.


In regions or areas where the density of the population provides a basis for public services as an environmentally friendly and effective form of transport, it is necessary, when planning the spatial pattern of development and the transport system, to attach special importance to conditions that encourage public transport.

When the capacity of the road network is insufficient, equal consideration shall be given to alternatives other than increasing the capacity of the roads, such as, regulating the traffic, improving public transport services.

The bicycle as a form of transport shall be emphasized when the conditions are suitable.

The planning shall give due consideration to pedestrians and handicapped people.

Environmental and health hazards connected to transport of dangerous goods shall be emphasized when deciding where to locate undertakings which lead to such transport, and when planning traffic arteries and the use of land along traffic arteries.


Regional public or private services for the general public shall be located on the basis of an overall evaluation of the region, adjusted to the existing and planned centre structure and public transport junctions.

Undertakings which create heavy transport should be located close to the railway, a port, or the main highway network.

4. Guidelines for cooperation, the basis for decisions and responsibility for implementing the guidelines


Municipalities, county municipalities and the representatives of the national authorities in the counties should organize the planning to ensure coordination of land use and the transport system in line with these guidelines. This should be included as part of the cooperation already existing as a result of the duty to cooperate, as laid down in the legislation.

Cooperation should be established in towns and urban areas to ensure that the planning in each municipality takes place within coordinated regional frameworks in accordance with these guidelines. It is necessary to clarify the principles for a development structure, including limiting towns and urban areas, a centre and service structure, a green structure and the different types of main systems of transport. These principles should be embodied in a county plan and should be followed up in the municipal master plans.

The county municipality should play an important role as initiator and driving force in this cooperation. In some areas it may be relevant to cooperate also across county boundaries as well.


The planning work in counties and municipalities should be organized so that decisions can be taken on the basis of surveys of alternative solutions for the spatial pattern of development and the transport system. The possibilities for effective public transport services shall be clarified. The impacts of the different alternatives on the environment, natural resources and society should be described, with anestimate of the socio-economic consequences of the alternatives.


State subsidies and loans for development of large development areas and communication services, as well as establishment permits, shall be based on adopted land-use plans in line with these guidelines, within the framework of the guidelines that apply in other respects to these arrangements or undertakings.