Two guides published aiming to help deliver ’20-minute neighbourhoods’

TWO guides aiming to help in the delivery of so-called ’20-minute neighbourhoods’ (aka ’15-minute cities’) have just been published.

The first, from the Royal Town Planning Institute (Scotland), looks at implementing the concept into Scots planing policy and practice.

Begins the guide’s executive summary (which can be read, here): “The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immediate, and likely a lasting effect, on how we use towns and cities to live, work and play in.

“Twenty minute-neighbourhoods are a concept of urban development that has ascended rapidly in the minds of policymakers, politicians and the general public across the world.

“The basic premise is a model of urban development that creates neighbourhoods where daily services can be accessed within a 20 minute walk.

“This briefing paper focuses on the role planning policy and practice and place-based partnerships can have in delivering the concept in Scotland.

“This report recommends a range of areas of planning policy, development management and public service delivery which could be adjusted to include interventions to support 20-minute neighbourhoods.”

Meanwhile, the Town and Country Planning Association says here, of its 83-page guide: “The idea of the ’20-minute neighbourhood’ (also known as ’15-minute cities’) has grown with interest around the world, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the importance of the liveability of where we live.  

“Another way of describing a complete, compact and connected neighbourhood, where people can meet their everyday needs within a short walk or cycle, the idea of the 20-minute neighbourhood presents multiple benefits – including boosting local economies, improving people’s health and well-being, increasing social connections in communities, and tackling climate change.  

“The TCPA, with Sport England, have been working with partners, including [walking and cycling charity] Sustrans, Design Council, Fields in Trust, CLES [Centre For Local Economic Strategies Limited] and others to look at how the idea could be introduced in the context of the English planning system.”

It adds: “Produced in collaboration, this introductory guidance document on the 20-minute neighbourhood is for local planning authorities and outlines a set of principles for success with case studies from across England.”

Pictured: The Union canal, Edinburgh

Picture credit: PlaceDesignScotland