20-minute neighbourhoods are all about ‘living locally’ – giving people the ability to meet most of their daily needs within a 20-minute walk from home, with safe cycling and local transport options. The City of Moonee Valley has placed 20-minute neighbourhoods at the core of their planning process – Yarra can too.
Neighbourhoods are important because they are where we live.
20-minute neighbourhoods offer multiple benefits.
Key component of Plan Melbourne
20-minute neighbourhoods are a principle of Plan Melbourne 2017-2050, managed by the Victoria State Government Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning.
People can walk 2 km in 20 minutes, or cycle 5 km in 20 minutes.
Plan Melbourne states that a 20-minute neighbourhood must:
- be safe, accessible and well connected for pedestrians and cyclists to optimise active transport,
- offer high-quality public realm and open space,
- provide services and destinations that support local living,
- facilitate access to quality public transport that connects people to jobs and higher-order services,
- deliver housing/population at densities that make local services and transport viable, and
- facilitate thriving local economies.
All the designs proposed by Streets Alive Yarra align with the principle of 20-minutes neighbourhoods.
The Victoria State Government Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning operated a pilot program with three Councils. Victoria Walks was a partner in the 20-Minute Neighbourhood Pilot Program, and worked to identify the key walking routes in each neighbourhood. Victoria Walks then audited the walkability of those routes, detailing the problems and made recommendations for action.
Streets Alive Yarra supports the 13 recommendations of the report, especially recommendation 7, relating to scaling up the program and delivering ongoing funding. State Government should offer all Local Government Councils (including Yarra) dollar-for-dollar funding for all projects relating to 20-minute neighbourhoods and Local Area Place Making.
Guidance from Strong Towns
Strong Towns has published a guide to creating 15-minute neighbourhoods, which is the USA version of our 20-minute neighbourhoods.
What Yarra can do
Even without State Government support, Yarra can deliver 20-minute neighbourhoods by increasing the budget for Local Area Place Making to $10m per year. This will greatly speed up the construction of safe, continuous and effective networks for walking and cycling.
The 20-minute neighbourhood pilot program is supported by: