Position paper: MAL agreements on land use, housing and transport in the urban regions of Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio
19 August 2020
The mayors of Kuopio, Jyväskylä and Lahti sent this joint position paper to ministers Krista Mikkonen, Timo Harakka and Mika Lintilä on 19 August 2020.
According to the Government Programme, MAL agreements will be extended to the urban regions of Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio. All the large cities in Finland with more than 100,000 residents will thus be covered by MAL agreements. The government study on extending the agreements indicated that including new regions would produce clear added value. The urban regions of Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio are home to half a million Finns and several major, globally operating industrial companies and SMEs. These three urban regions are the most significant growth and innovation hubs in central Finland.
The Government Programme states that the agreement procedure will be extended to new regions in addition to the previous regions covered by the agreement, and that “the government will correspondingly increase its contribution”. MAL agreement negotiations are currently in progress, but the new regions have at this stage been informed that the contents of their agreement will be more limited than the contents of the previous four MAL agreements. In addition, the budget proposals of the Ministries for next year do not include appropriations reserved for the new MAL regions. This message at the start of the negotiations does not convey an impression that the government is committed to equal development in all the large urban regions. It does not correspond to what is stated in the Government Programme either.
The regions of Lahti, Jyväskylä and Kuopio require that the new agreements be treated equally and be assigned the same significant role as regional development tools as the agreements made earlier this year and that contributions are made to the MAL agreement regions to the same extent and under the same principles as is already done in the urban regions covered by the agreement. The agreements should include a conclusively determined infrastructure subsidy, a public transport subsidy, small and cost-efficient transport projects, walking and cycling projects and grants for launching housing production, as has already been done in the agreements concluded this year.
- Timo Koivisto, Mayor, City of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 50 3362 819
- Pekka Timonen, Mayor, City of Lahti, tel. +358 50 3374 386
- Jarmo Pirhonen, Mayor, City of Kuopio, tel. +358 44 7182 790