Land use and construction

In addition to being the most important means of reducing a municipality's greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, planning of land use and solutions made in construction play an important role for the wellbeing of local residents. Decisions made in land use now define the community structure for decades.

A good community structure creates a possibility for a sustainable way of life. Including building stock and traffic, solutions related to land use can notably reduce a municipality's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In Finland, traffic is responsible for approximately a fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions. In a dispersed community structure, emissions are markedly greater than in a close structure.

With respect to the functionality of communities in the future, it becomes increasingly important to cater for possible floods in bodies of water and flooding caused by heavy rain. Flood risk areas and characteristics of the soil should be clarified even more carefully than now. Protecting the existing building stock is always more difficult than minimising vulnerability during the building phase.

Our building stock is designed for an operating life of 50-100 years. The gradual change in the climate conditions should already be considered in planning although there are some uncertainties related to the impacts of climate change. Means include both structural solutions and selection of material. At the same time, construction and maintenance of the building stock is connected to a notable potential to reduce emissions.

How to begin? Tips for the land use sector for mitigation and adaptation measures:

Land use            

The community struc­ture has a major impact on emissions and vulnerability.

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Construction     

In Finland, heating of buildings causes approximately 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions.

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Traffic planning

Use of fossil fuels in traffic is the main source of emissions.

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