Estonia - EPU

Eesti Planeerijate Ühing (EPÜ) 

ECTP-CEU member since: 2009
Amount of own members: 90
President: Head of the board
Heiki Kalberg
Delegate(s): Maila Kuusik
Contacts: EPÜ Secretariat
Raekoja plats 8
TARTU 51014
Tel : +372.7.427.777/+372.51.48.308
Fax : +372.7.427.777
e-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Annual EPU reports to ECTP-CEU

Estonian’s projects presented by the EPÜ to the ECTP-CEU European and Regional Planning Awards:
None to date

Country Factsheet for Estonia (.ee)
ECTP-CEU Study Profession qualification Recognition - Stage II document - Appendix 4 Draft Directory (2012-12-21)
General Country Information
Capital City Tallinn
Population 1,342,000
Area (km2) 45 226
Population Density 30 per km2
EU Membership Estonia joined EU in 2004.

Estonia is a parliamentary republic administratively divided into fifteen regions (counties) and appr 220 local authorities (towns and rural municipalities); the spatial planning matters are shared between the different levels of the State (National, Regional, Local).

Estonia’s Ministry contacts:
(From the Government website)

Ministry of Finance (Rahandusministeerium):
Tallinn 10122
Endla 13
Telephone: (+372) 611 3558
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Planning as a Regulated Profession in Estonia

Professional Title:
The common professional name is "Planeerija".

EU Database Status:
The profession of “Planeerija” in Estonia is not included in the EU Database of Regulated Professions.

National Regulation:
The Planning Act paragraph 6 prescribes that: a planner is a person who has a masters degree in geography, architecture or landscape architecture or a person who has been given the professional certificate as planner.

The Planning Act paragraph 4 section 7 prescribes that: In case the professional qualification of EU and EEA is approved, the Act of approval of foreign professional certificate will be applied. The relevant authority is Ministry of Finance.
The Planning Act paragraph 4 section 6 prescribes the competence of a planner:

The planner and other specialists participating in preparation of a plan must:
1) possess the knowledge and skills corresponding to the specific nature of the work
2) be guided by carefulness in order to guarantee a good quality to the plan and take into consideration the presented requirements.
3) be guided by the obligation to give explanations including providing information to the organisers of the planning activity or other interested persons concerning issues relevant for the planning work.
4) guarantee that the plan is in accordance with legislation.

The professional standards for the planner are approved by the Cultural Council (Kultuurinõukogu) appointed by the Minister of Education and Science 28.03.2012 

The professional certificat is issued by the Association of Estonian Planners since 22.11.2014.
Regional regulation: None.

Universities with approved trainings in Estonia

In Estonia, no comprehensive curriculum in spatial planning is currently provided. Planning is thought as a sub-subject in several universities.
Planning and planning-related courses are provided, in Estonia, by:
• Estonian University of Life Science,
• University of Tartu,
• Estonian Academy of Arts,
• Tallinn University,
• Tallinn University of Technology,

Example from “ECTP-CEU Draft Stage 2 Study on the Recognition of Planning Qualifications in Europe”:
Master of Urban Studies, Estonian Academy of Arts:
Here it is a two year course with a heavier part on planning product and thesis, like other courses in countries with a strong tradition of architecture and engineering in spatial planning.

Town Planning Press of Estonia

The following journals are occasionally publishing articles and overviews about plans and planning:

• Sirp


• ÕU


Country regulation:


Town Planning matters are divided between the different competent levels in Estonia, providing four types of documents:
• “Üleriigiline planeering” (National Spatial Plan)
• “Maakonnaplaneering” (County Plan)
• “Üldplaneering” (Comprehensive Plan)
• “Detailplaneering” (Detailed Plan)

“Üleriigiline planeering” (National Spatial Plan):
It is a document prepared with the aim of defining the objectives in development matters on the national scale. It provides guidelines for a sustainable spatial development through the creation of the basis for transport network, infrastructures, and the regional development of the State.
Maritine areas can be dealt with in the form of a thematic plan covering both the territorial waters and the economic zone.

The National Spatial Plan "Estonia 2030+" was enforced by the Government in August 2012.

“Maakonnaplaneering” (County Plan):
A County Plan has the same purpose than the National Plan but on a smaller level. It is prepared for the territory of a county, as a whole or not. Unlike the National Plan, it can be created without covering all parts of the county, or be based on a theme if another county plan exists. Thanks to an agreement between the different parties, a county plan can integrate several counties. It ensures sustainable and balanced development while responding to the national and local needs.
The County plans were initiated by the Government in July 2013 and are being prepared by all County administrations. The plans should be finalized by the end of 2016.

“Üldplaneering” (Comprehensive Plan):
It determines general objectives for the development of cities or more rural areas and sets out the bases for the creation of the last listed plan. It can concern several cities, or being created for a special theme for example; more and more thematic plans are created on matters such as coastal areas, cultural sites or green systems. This Plan determines the general use of the land and defines locations for the public structures and networks, while promoting sustainable development and natural protection. It can be seen with buildings exclusion zones.

“Detailplaneering” (Detailed Plan):
Usually prepared for small areas, this plan sets out rules and divisions of new building areas. It establishes the architectural and natural frameworks that must be followed, thanks to drawing illustrations of the content of the plan. It also determines the needs for easements, which can only be created with the agreement of the owner.


• Ministry of Finance since 01.09.2015 (Ministry of Internal Affairs before, Ministry of Environment before),
• County Governor


Information, consultation and dialogue
From “Planeerimisseadus” (Planning Act), 1st July 2015, Chapter 2, § 9 and 10:
§ 9. Principle of inviting the public to participate and of informing the public
(1) The planning proceedings are public. The authority that organises planning work must inform the public of the planning proceedings in understandable terms, provide sufficient invitation to the public to participate in the proceedings and, in the course of the preparation of the spatial plan, arrange public displays and public discussions of the plan in order to introduce the plan to the public.
(2) Everyone is entitled to participate in the planning proceedings and, during those proceedings, express his or her opinion regarding the spatial plan.
(3) Everyone is entitled, free of charge, to receive relevant information regarding the planning proceedings and the spatial plan.
§ 10. Principle of balancing and integrating interests
(1) The authority that organises planning work must balance different interests, including public interests and values, consider them in the light of the principles of planning and the goals of the spatial plan, and integrate them in the planning solution.
§ 11. Principle of the sufficiency of information: The authority that organises planning work is entitled, free of charge, to receive information required for the preparation of spatial plans. The authority must ensure the preservation and availability of the information gathered during planning proceedings.

The Act prescribes cooperation between government ministries and agencies in the initial phase of planning and that the plan should later be remitted to them.

Further all those who must be invited to participate and heard concerning the plan are enumerated. The authorities in question different according type of plan.



Main Planning legislation

The Planning Act Chapter 1, paragraph 1 prescribes the aim and scope of planning regulation:

(1) The aim of this act is, considering the needs and interests of general public, to provide through spatial planning preconditions for a democratic, long time, balanced spatial development, land use, high class living and built up environment as well as promoting economically, culturally and socially sustainable development.
(2) The act prescribes the principles for planning, the requirements for the planning process and for the implementation on the plan.

Paragraph 4 sections 1 and 2 prescribe who is entitled to be the organizing authority of the planning work and its duties:

(1) The organizing authority of planning activity is according to competence the Ministry of Finance or other Government agency, the County governer or a Local authority unit.
(2) The duties of the organizing authority in the planning work are:
1) guarantee the provision of adequate plans for an area
2) organise the preparation of plans
3) preparation of plans or ordering preparation of plans.
4) guarantee the necessary procedures for the planning process,
5) assessment of the economic, cultural, social and natural environment impacts caused by implementation of the plan, i a organizing of strategic environment impact assessment.
6) observing, examining and implementation concerning legally put duties for the organizing authority of planning activity.



Eesti Planeerijate Ühing (Estonian Association of Spatial Planners):

Rahandusministeerium (Ministry of Finance):

Maa-Amet (Estonian Land Board):

Riigi Teataja:

Regulated Profession Database of the European Commission: