The use of information created in zoning and building permit procedures is changing. The built environment information system to be introduced in 2024 will bring this information together in a nationally interoperable and machine readable form.
The built environment information system will provide access to up-to-date information in the whole country. The most important users of the system are municipalities that produce data. It will also benefit government agencies, individual building owners and permit applicants, as well as residents who wish to follow land use planning.
The new system has no impacts on the division of responsibilities in the production of data, but the responsibility for zoning and permit procedures continues to rest with the municipalities. In future jointly specified information models will be used for zoning and building permits, which means that the data will be interoperable and move smoothly from one organisation to another.
National information system makes it easier to manage information
Thanks to the built environment information system, there will be no need to store data in several locations. This will also improve the cooperation between different authorities: up-to-date information will move more smoothly between central government authorities and municipalities, and manual data processing will be reduced.
In the first phase in 2024, the new information system will provide information on building permits, restrictions and different kinds of zoning plans. The information system and the ways it can be used will expand after the first phase. At first the focus will be on information that the public authorities need for their statutory operations. Information can be used to produce better public services and develop a wide range of business activities.
The project concerning the construction of the built environment information system is included in the Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin's Government. The budget of the project, implemented by the Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Environment Institute, for 2020–2024 is EUR 19.6 million. This national investment will pay for itself as better access to information will be provided and the quality of information improves.
How will the change proceed?
The Finnish Environment Institute has now completed the specification of the built environment information system, which determined the information to be included in the first phase and describes the movement of the data and links with other information systems. Based on these specifications, the Finnish Environment Institute will procure the implementation of the system in 2022. A process is also under way to prepare the act concerning the new information system that is interlinked with the process to reform the Land Use and Building Act. These acts should enter into force in 2024. This is also when the first version of the information system should be ready for use.
Digitalisation changes the way in which information on the built environment is managed, produced and utilised. The project on the built environment information system identified tens of projects in different administrative branches that are interlinked with the movement of data on the built environment. Cooperation is needed to make sure that the change will be effective and fair and that digital security will be fully accounted for.
In the initial phase, the change will require additional work in municipalities. Some of them have already made fast progress in digitalising their systems. The project on the built environment information system cooperates closely with the municipalities and offers support services so that all Finnish municipalities will keep up with the change
Source: Ministry of the Environment