Edinburgh to explore concept of the ’20-minute neighbourhood’

THE creation of so-called ’20-minute neighbourhoods’ – where most of one’s practical needs are within easy walking distance – is to be explored by Edinburgh’s city council.

Yesterday, councillors approved a proposal from city official, Paul Lawrence, executive director of Place, which included using a Scottish Government funding stream to help deliver the strategy.

In his proposal, Lawrence notes, here: “The Scottish Government has announced a Place Based Investment Programme, which is a capital grant-based programme (replacing the Town Centre Fund). City of Edinburgh Council has been allocated £1.998m in 2021/22 and it [is] proposed to use this funding to help deliver the 20-Minute Neighbourhood Strategy.”

Potential locations, to be turned into ’20-minute neighbourhoods’ include the following city districts: Corstorphine, Lochend/Restalrig, Ratho, Craigmillar/Bingham, Moredun/Gilmerton, South Queensferry, Currie/Balerno, Morningside/Bruntsfield, Stockbridge and Gorgie/Dalry.

Says a city council announcement (here), issued ahead of the councillors’ decision: “The draft strategy outlines that, if approved, the first areas of focus will be where the need is greatest, whether that’s because of deprivation, poor connectivity, or demographic issues.

“For example, we will:

  • Maximise the opportunities created by new school investments at Liberton and Currie;
  • Work to deliver the new Pennywell Hub to provide a partnership between public and voluntary sectors;
  • Build on the community-led Local Place Planning work in Wester Hailes and Leith;
  • Work with the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership to combat loneliness and isolation, and build new networks of support and wellbeing; and
  • Look at new schemes to improve the quality of place in some of our busiest and most traffic-dominated centres such as Niddrie Mains Road.”

Pictured: St Stephen Street, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland