Forum for Municipal Planning
Forum for Kommunal Planlegging (FKP)

ECTP-CEU member since: January 2005
Amount of own members: ~390
President: Britt Kjensli
Delegates to ECTP: Kjartan Løvaas
Contacts: Office Address: Haakon VIIs gt. 9
0161 Oslo
Mailing address: Postboks 1378 Vika
0114 Oslo
Tel: +47 24 13 26 00
E-mail :

Annual FKP reports to ECTP-CEU

Norway’s projects presented by FKP to the ECTP-CEU European and Regional Planning Awards.

The project winners are:

2008 – 7th Edition:

The Urban Renewal in Drammen 1985 – 2008 : Winner

2014 – 10th Edition:

Fornebu – a green town built on outstanding national and international expertise : Winner

Country Factsheet for Norway
ECTP-CEU Study Profession qualification Recognition – Stage II document – Appendix 4 Draft Directory (2012-12-21)

General Country Information
Capital City Oslo
Population 5,391,369 (1.01.21)
Area (km2) 385,178 km2
Population Density 14 per km2
EU Membership Norway is not a member of EU but a EEA member

Norway is a unitary state with a national multi-party system.

The country is divided into eleven first-level administrative counties (fylke). These are further divided into 356 municipalities (kommuner). In 2016 Norway was going through a municipal reform and one of the goals was to decrease the amount of municipalities. The number went down from 430 municipalities to 356. In addition to the 356 municipalities, the Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen) local authority has some similarities to a municipality. Norway also possesses three dependent territories (biland), which are uninhabited. The territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are outside the county division and are ruled directly on national level. The capital Oslo is considered both a county and a municipality. Regional divisions are informal and therefore hold no official status in the government.

The spatial and urban planning matters are shared between government bodies of the Parliament of Norway (Stortinget), the county council (fylkesting), and the municipality council (kommunestyre).

Norway has a strong and over 50 yearlong planning tradition based today on the Planning and Building Act 2008 (Act of 27 June 2008 No. 71).

Planning organisations in Norway:
There are two organisations in Norway that are focusing on planning: Forum for Municipal Planning FKP, a member of ECTP and House and City Plan Association BOBY, not a member of ECTP.

The Forum for Municipal Planning (FKP) is an organisation based on personal membership, dedicated to promoting competency and quality in local and regional planning. FKP has participated in forming the The Charter of European Planning that summarizes the ethical platform for planners who work in Norway as follows:

The mission of planning of FKP is to promote sustainable development to the best for individuals, society and future generations, based on transparency, predictability and participation for all private and public parties involved. Planning takes place where different individual and collective interests and values meet; it is imperative for using and distributing collective resources sustainably.

The ethical platform of FKP shall contribute to make planners conscious of their social responsibility and encourage that it is expressed through action. The platform shall be an aid to the daily work of planners and a foundation for continuous professional development, both at an individual and organizational level.

The fundamental values of planning
Democratic processes: Planning shall be based on the Norwegian democracy’s fundamental principles of equality, openness, rule of law and rights to participation. All actors and parties have the right to information and participation, irrespective to power, position or access to resources.
In coherence with law and conventions: Planning shall take place within the framework of and with loyalty to current law and international agreements and conventions applicable to the Norwegian government. Planning shall be based on nationally adopted goals and procedures, and the subsequent requirements to open and examinable processes.
Based on knowledge: Planning shall be based on the best accessible and updated knowledge. The planning discipline’s contribution shall be predictable and recognizable independently to employer or contracting entity.

The responsibilities of a Planner
Meeting with elected officials: A planner must show respect to the elected officials’ tasks and roles, within the framework of the planners’ own professional integrity and the mission of planning. A planner shall assist in making clear the range of opportunities within the framework of national policy, law and regulations, and accessible resources.
Meeting with citizens and other parties: A planner shall act professionally, separate the person from the problem and build trust between parties. A planner shall meet everyone with openness, understanding and guidance, and facilitate good planning processes that promote involvement and participation. A planner shall assist disadvantaged groups participating and advocate that no groups or interests are discriminated.
Meeting with fellow planners and other professionals: A planner shall demonstrate openness and respect to other professional methods and contributions, and commit to innovation and holistic solutions through cooperation with fellow planners and other professionals. A planner shall be conscious of one’s own professional integrity, as well as the fundamental values and mission of planning.

Norway’s Ministry contacts:

Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation
Akersgata 59
Oslo, Norway
T: +47 22 24 90 90

Some of the Ministry’s responsibilities are relating to housing and building policy, local government finances, rural and regional policy, local administration, management tasks under the Planning and Building Act referring to urban development, municipal land-use planning, environmental impact analyses and county planning, and national mapping and geo data policy.

The internal units of the Ministry are organized into several departments. The responsibilities of spatial planning are covered by the Department for Planning. There is no planning directorate in Norway, which means that the Ministry itself carries out social planning that would otherwise be dealt with by a directorate. The state has a representative in all counties that is the leader of the county with its organization that also carries out parts of the Planning and Building Act. Each county has an administrative organization with focus in regional planning that cooperate with the state, the county leader and the municipalities in matters related to the practice of the Planning and Building Act.

The biggest part and responsibilities embodied in the Planning and Building Act is maintained by the municipalities.


Planning as a Regulated Profession in Norway

Similar to other Scandinavian countries, Norway does not directly regulate planning or many of the related disciplines.

Professional Title:
The common professional name is “Planlegger” or planner. A Norwegian planner has a title from University in related professions with a master’s degree. Most planners are additionally specialized in planning and urban planning with master and Ph. D degrees.

EU Database Status:
The profession of “Planlegger” or planner in Norway is not included in the EU Database of Regulated Professions.

National Regulation:
Indirectly through the Norwegian Qualifications Authority.

Regional regulation:

Post studies in planning in Norway:

Samplan: Post and continuing education in community planning sponsored by several ministries and in cooperation with the Forum for municipal planning FKP. Samplan is a course for people with different backgrounds and in different types of positions dealing with topics related to planning.

The course has been givens since the 60ties with over 47 years and has changed its form and content over time. The course provides that participants get a broad presentation of various aspects of Norwegian society with relevance to community planning.

The course is providing a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge. Participants who take the course and pass the exam receive 30 credits that is a master’s level. Samplan has in recent years used six-week meetings in four periods in each course per year. The sessions take place in various parts of the country, with particular emphasis on Northern Norway.

Participants at Samplan come from various sectors. Most of them work in municipalities, but some are employed in government services. Some also come from the county or the private sector. Contestants come from all over the country. There is quite a large variation in age, but most have at least some years of experience with work-related community planning.

Samplan is approaching 1,400 participants in these 47 years, and most of them continue working with planning. In 2014, an evaluation was conducted by a research organization and the results were clearly positive.

Universities with approved planning trainings in Norway
The courses in Urban Planning “Byplanlegging” are Third Level Degree in Planning. In Norway, these courses are provided by:
• Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) / Department of Town & Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Fine Art / Master programme in Physical Planning
• University of Tromsø / Department of Sociology, Political Science & Community Planning
• University of Bergen /Bachelor in Planning & Culture
• University of Oslo
• Institute of Urbanism and Landscape / Oslo School of Architecture and Design
• University of Stavanger / Master in Urban Planning (2 & 5 years)
• HIV Volda University College/ Department of Planning and Administration
• HiB in Drammen
• Fjordane University College / Landscape Planning
• Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) / Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning (ILP) / PhD programme in Society, Development and Planning

There is an exemplary curriculum of University of Tromsø that provides theoretical and practical knowledge from different scientific disciplines with a spatial dimension. Bachelor study programme includes the courses of:
• Planning Theory & Network Governance
• Interdisciplinary Social Science
• Cultural Analysis
• Cultural Geography
• Regional Analysis with field course
• Sociological perspectives
• Trainee term

Masters study programme includes the courses of:
• Planning & Democracy
• Research methods
• Advanced Cultural Analysis
• Advanced Cultural Geography
• Innovative business development
• Globalization
• Culture & Planning

Example from “ECTP-CEU Draft Stage 2 Study on the Recognition of Planning Qualifications in Europe”:

Master Study of Urban and Regional Planning at the Ås University of Life
Sciences (UMB)- Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning:

The Norwegian exemplary planning course is not split into an undergraduate and dependent postgraduate element. It represents the type of classes which was prevalent in many countries in continental Europe prior to the introduction of separate bachelor’s and Master’s degrees


Town Planning Press of Norway
• Plan
Ivar Winther, Editor in Chief
• Arkitektnytt
Ando Woltmann, Editor in Chief
• architecture norway
• Byggeindustrien
Arve Brekkhus, Editor in Chief
• ByplanOslo
• The newspapers Aftenposten and Dagbladet are continuously writing articles of actuality and thereby contributing to debates and information.

Country regulation about planning and Building:


Based on the Planning and Building Act 2008 (Act of 27 June 2008 No. 71 relating to Planning and the Processing of Building Applications, replaces the former Act of 1985) the documents of spatial and urban planning are divided between the three main competent levels in Norway:
• The National Level
• The Regional Level
• The Local Level

The Planning documents are spatial and urban plans. Spatial plans are:
• National Expectations (The government draws up a document every four years setting out national expectations regarding the regional and municipal planning)
• Central Government Planning Guidelines (SPR)
• Central Government Planning Provisions (SPB)
• The Regional plan
• The Municipal planning strategy
• The Municipal Master plan
• The Municipal Sub-plan
• The Zoning plan
• The Area Zoning plan
• The Detailed Buildings plan

The National Level:
The national expectations set the goals, tasks and interests that the government believes is important that county and municipal emphasizes in its planning for the Planning and Building Act in the coming four years. The Government planning guidelines (SPR, formerly called national guidelines -RPR) are used to specify the national expectations of planning and mark national policies in key areas of planning. The plan consists of clear goals and values to be made as basis for further planning. State regulations (SPB) are used to specify the national expectations of planning and mark the national policies in the key areas of planning.

The Regional Level:
The county council is responsible for the regional plans. Cooperation between the counties and the state occurs primarily through state agencies at the county level. Each ministry clarifies what leeway and liberty of resources each State agency has within the sector. Planning at the regional level differs from municipal planning as it normally deals with specific topics and tailored tasks.

The Local Level:
The municipal plan is an overall management document and provides a framework for the development of the municipality. The Municipal Master Plan for land management includes regulations for the use, protection and the design of spaces and the natural environment in the municipality.


• The Council of State, County Assembly, City Assembly, Town Council or Assembly.


Information, consultation and dialogue
The Planning and Building Act provides guidance on how authorities should facilitate the prioritization of attention in a systematic, comprehensive and democratic manner to ensure sustainable powerful development. Summary of provisions concerning participation in the planning process under the Planning and Building Act:

This provision assumes the principle that the present generation must seek to handle society in a way in which to ensure at least as good or better conditions for the next generation.

Promoting a meaningful involvement of both affected groups and stakeholders these principles of involvement in use in several Norwegian municipalities and counties can help to ensure the flexibility and predictability in the process:

Openness: Transparency in planning means that everyone, whether directly affected or stakeholders, should have equal access to the necessary information to safeguard their interests or give their opinions. Transparency is in itself a prerequisite for interested parties to have confidence in the planning system.

Effectiveness: In an era characterized by a short development horizon, with many active interests and strict requirements for financial results, it creates guidelines for an active led participatory process. It is also important to ensure adequate involved activation of the public at an early stage. In planning matters with latent conflicts, it can adequately facilitate and contribute to better coordination, thereby affecting the decision making the process effortless and predictable.

Universal Design: A planning process with a low threshold for participation and input from all interested parties can help to ensure a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities contained in the current situation plan. A process that facilitates universal design at all levels of planning strengthens the ability to develop all the inclusive communities.

Equality: Participation on equal terms, so that affected stakeholders, such as union and business interests, are on equal grounds with each other, is an important principle in the planning process. The greater complexity and interest in the diversity of the situation plan, the more important is an orderly and inclusive planning process that starts at the beginning.



Main Planning legislation
Law on planning and building regulations (Planning and Building Act) Published in 2008 Booklet 7
The Planning and Building Act provides the overall framework for planning and building. Planning for law unifies state, regional and municipal authorities. The Act applies to planning of land use and building permits.
(Basic provisions)
(1) Purpose of the Act: The Act shall promote sustainable development in the best interests of individuals, society and future generations. Planning pursuant to this Act shall facilitate the coordination of central government, regional and municipal functions and provide a basis for administrative decisions regarding the use and conservation of resources.
Planning and administrative decisions shall ensure transparency, predictability and public participation for all affected interests and authorities. There shall be emphasis on long-term solutions, and environmental and social impacts shall be described. The principle of design for universal accessibility shall be taken into account in planning and in requirements relating to individual building projects.
(3) Planning functions and authority: Within the framework of section 1-1, plans pursuant to this Act shall:
(a) Establish goals for the physical, environmental, economic, social and cultural development of municipalities and regions, identify social needs and functions, and state how these functions can be discharged
(b) Safeguard land resources, landscape qualities and the conservation of valuable landscapes and cultural environments
(c) Protect the natural basis for Sami culture, economic activity and social life
(d) Facilitate value creation and industrial and commercial development
(e) Facilitate the good design of developed surroundings, good housing environments and good childhood environments and living standards in all parts of the country
(f) Promote public health and counteract social inequalities in health, and help to prevent crime
(g) Take the climate into account in energy supply and transport solutions
(h) Promote societal safety by preventing the risk of loss of life, injury to health, and damage to the environment and important infrastructure, material assets, etc.


Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation:

Forum for Kommunal Planlegging (FKP):

Planning and Building Act (2008):

National framework and planning functions:–og-bygningsloven/planning/engelsk-test—planning-in-norway/engelsk-test—-8-4/id710322/ 

Institute of Urbanism and Landscape: