Economic activities in Svalbard are as a main rule located in the planning areas around the main settlements. Land-use is controlled through management plans.

Land-use plans in Svalbard have guidelines for the development of settlements and mining communities. Outside the planning areas, permission from the Governor is required for most activities. The Governor shall also ensure that all land-use plans give sufficient consideration to the protection of natural environment, cultural heritage, public safety and public interest.

Six planning areas
Most of the activities in Svalbard take place in Longyearbyen, Barentsburg, Svea and Ny-Ålesund. Land-use plans govern the use of the areas and shall consider the environment. The plans will also provide predictable development. Longyearbyen Community Council is the land-use authority in Longyearbyen planning area, while landowners develop plans in the other settlements. The Governor is land-use authority.

For the smaller settlements in Hornsund, on Bjørnøya and Hopen and trapping stations there are no such plans, and the areas are not defined as planning areas.

Approved Plans
Longyearbyen, Longyearbyen Community Council 2009

Svea, Store Norske 2012

Ny-Ålesund, Kings Bay AS 2009

Barentsburg, Trust Arktikugol 2004

Pyramiden, Trust Arktikugol 2014.

Colesbukta, Trust Arktikugol