Regional development is grounded in the needs of inhabitants, local authorities and sub-regions. The foundation for this work is provided by the Regional Development Plan, which indicates the goals, objectives and focal areas for the development of Oulu region. Regional planning system takes into account the national regional development targets based on the Regional Development Act.
The Regional Development Plan is a long-term scheme implemented through Regional Strategic Programme and Regional Land Use Plan. Definition of policy in the Regional Plan has both direct and indirect effects on decision-making and economic life of the region.
The Regional Strategic Programme defines the priorities for the development work and outlines criteria for the funding. The Regional Land use Plan steers the local authority land use decisions and systematic community development. All other programmes and projects carried out in the region are subordinates to the above mentioned and are aiming at fulfilling their objectives.
An essential part of all the regional planning is an open, transparent and intersectoral participation of different regional actors and decision makers. Regional Council´s intension has been to create a continuous, iterative strategic decision process that enables immediate functioning and step by step reassessment of strategies.