20-minute neighbourhoods are much talked about and with their aim being to create communities where residents can access most of their daily needs within a 20-minute walk or wheel from their homes, it’s clear the benefits they could bring.
Accessibility is key for these new communities to thrive. Reducing the time and effort required for residents to access essential services, making living there more convenient, and improving quality of life with less time spent commuting and carrying out daily chores, and more time spent on more engaging activities with friends and family.
This in turn can have an impact on overall health and wellbeing, with recreational spaces in close proximity to homes, residents become more likely to use their extra time participating in outdoor activities and leading a healthier lifestyle with less sedentary behaviour.
Spending time socially in the community, increases interactions with neighbours, encourages participation in community activities and helps to foster a sense of belonging, this results in even stronger social networks and improved community well-being. 20-minute neighbourhoods allow people to live well locally with greater social interaction which is scientifically shown to stimulate human development.
They’re great news for the environment too. With daily needs being met locally, it becomes much easier to leave the car at home, walking, cycling or using public transport instead. It gives residents the freedom to choose greener methods of transport instead of being limited by cars. This can reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and emissions, contributing to a healthier, greener and more sustainable way of life.
In fact, 20-minute neighbourhoods can reduce reliance on private cars significantly, resulting in lower transportation costs for residents, less demand for parking infrastructure and more potential for green open spaces.
Inherently, 20-minute neighbourhoods prioritise inclusivity, ensuring essential services and amenities are easily accessible to all, promoting social equity by reducing barriers to access and providing equal opportunities for all residents to meet their needs.
A mix of uses is key to the success of 20-minute neighbourhoods, residential, commercial and retail areas sharing the space, creating opportunities for local businesses to thrive and creating a diverse range of job opportunities within the community.
Our ambition for Elements Edinburgh is to create a new 20-minute neighbourhood on the western edge of the city offering residents a better quality of life, better health outcomes, increased community engagement, environmental sustainability, and enhanced accessibility and equity.
Resulting in a vibrant, well-connected community where residents can live, work and play in a thriving urban environment.