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Building protection system

The protection and preservation of cultural environment are based on legislation, cooperation between environmental and cultural administration, responsible actions by municipalities and owners as well as citizen activity. According to the Finnish constitution, every citizen is responsible for the environment and cultural heritage.

Taking care of the cultural environment and architectural heritage is primarily based on town planning and building guidance i.e. the Land Use and Building Act. It is complemented by the Act on the Protection of Buildings and the Decree on the State-owned Buildings. The protection of Church buildings is provided for by the Church Act. Fixed relics are protected under the Antiquities Act. The cultural environment is extensively also referred to in other legislation such as the evaluation of environmental effects, Nature Conservation Act, Forest Act, Water Act, road legislations and Land Extraction Act. They include statutes aimed at the protection and preservation of beauty and cultural values.

The protection of cultural heritage provided by the Land Use and Building Act is based on the one hand on direct plan stipulations, and on the other hand on indirect means based on the steerage from mainly the community structure and its functions. The museum- and environmental authorities can influence the contents of the plans at the planning stage through the official statements they issue. In possible conflict situations complaints about the planners' decisions can be taken to the Administrative Court. The renewal of the Land Use and Building Act (2000) has increased the independent position of the Municipalities in making planning decisions, thus limiting state interventions to mainly general planning (provincial plans) as well as the planning of waterfront. But as a counterpoint to this, the Act has also made the requirements more specific, for instance in regard to taking the cultural environment into account in planning.

>>more information: European-heritage network


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Last updated 10.7.2015
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