Participatory urban planning for healthier urban communities

P2 Sustainable use of common resources

2.3. Better urban planning in the Central Baltic region

Central Baltic

01.04.2018 - 31.03.2021

€823 804

€646 644

Project Summary:

The HEAT project, realized by partners from Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Sweden addresses the problem of fragmented urban planning and cycling infrastructure. The main reasons are limited participation of citizens and other sectors in the planning processes. Moreover, the initiatives that aim at promoting biking in cities are often fragmented, full of gaps - thus, with low impact. The problem is relevant because of not only environmental concerns but also of health and social issues. Current consulting practices fail to involve city inhabitants and other sectors in the urban planning process to express their needs. People are experts in their city and their view can considerably enrich urban plans. Well-designed urban environments have the potential to enrich health, social and educational functions of a city.

To improve urban planning practices in CB region, the HEAT project proposes to bring city inhabitants and regional and municipal officials at the centre of urban planning by developing new and effective ways of consulting them. People will take part in interactive workshops and campaigns where they will be able to create their vision of biking infrastructure. At the same time, an economic analysis of savings to the health sector through increased biking will provide an argument for future investments. Stakeholders from both the local and regional level will be actively involved in these processes.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the planning of healthier, more active and inclusive urban areas in the CB region, in which biking is a safe, popular and acceptable mode of transport. To make this happen, Participatory Concepts for development of biking infrastructure in pilot cities and region of Southwest Finland will be developed and pilot actions will be conducted. Thanks to cross-border cooperation, partners will learn from each other, share experiences and support each other with their specific expertise. Project results will be widely distributed in CB region and beyond.

Lead Partner

Turun kaupunki

Country: FI


Partner budget: 102.415 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 73.790 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Itämeren alueen Terveet Kaupungit ry

Country: FI


Partner budget: 53.844 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 38.795 EUR ERDF

Varsinais-Suomen liitto - Varsinais-Suomen kestävän kehityksen ja energia-asioiden palvelukeskus (VALONIA)

Country: FI


Partner budget: 133.742 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 100.306 EUR ERDF

Turun ammattikorkeakoulu

Country: FI


Partner budget: 78.014 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 58.510 EUR ERDF

Jūrmalas pilsētas dome

Country: LV


Partner budget: 21.500 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 18.275 EUR ERDF

Balti Uuringute Instituut

Country: EE


Partner budget: 92.100 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 78.285 EUR ERDF

Tartu Linnavalitsus

Country: EE


Partner budget: 220.408 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 187.347 EUR ERDF


Country: SE


Partner budget: 121.781 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 91.336 EUR ERDF

Expected results

HEAT will result in:
- improved urban and regional plans that they will include biking routes better than currently. In different cities the share of the urban area influenced is between 3 and 7%,
- improved urban planning that takes into account the effect of the decisions of urban planners on health and social development: a ‘’Participatory concepts for development of biking infrastructure’’ developed in each project city and Southwest Finland as well as pilot actions and fills the gap in fragmented planning of biking infrastructure,
- increased engagement of people and city officials in urban planning and taking co-responsibility for the creation of urban space in their municipalities: in each pilot location at least 60 people of different backgrounds will be involved in the simulation games and workshops;
- increased acceptance of biking in the three cities, through the participation of people in planning of biking paths, campaigns and pilot activities;
- improved cooperation for the development of biking infrastructure and promotion of biking in the cities and region of Southwest Finland: a model for an effective cooperation will be developed;
- better informed and engaged local and regional politicians.

The focus is on promoting integrated urban planning process, which takes into account the voice and interest of many stakeholders (people, city and region administration, NGOs, transport companies, etc), perspective of end users (people who will start or continue biking) and interconnection with other policies. The project aims at combining many services together (use of car or train and bike, supported by the use of mobile applications and interactive maps) and ensuring the connectability of the city areas. Moreover, the development of biking transport contributes not only to the improvement of urban environment but also to health of the inhabitants, integrating different aspects of sustainable development (environmental with social with health).

Internet presence

Project webpage