Around the world there is growing interest in creating places in which most of people's daily needs can be met within a short walk or cycle. The benefits of this approach are multiple: people become more active, improving their mental and physical health; traffic is reduced, and air quality improved; local shops and businesses thrive; and people see more of their neighbours, strengthening community bonds.

The idea of '20 minute neighbourhoods' - sometimes called by other names, such as '15 minute cities' - has been gaining momentum for several years and is already being implemented in places such as Melbourne and Paris. Interest in the idea has grown as the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns put a spotlight on the importance of the liveability of neighbourhoods, with people spending more time locally, working at home if possible, using public green space, cycling and walking instead of using cars and connecting with neighbours. 

The TCPA is working in coalition with a range of partners to learn from places abroad that have already implemented 20 minute neighbourhoods, looking at how this idea could be introduced here in the context of the English planning system. Working with partners including Sport England, Sustrans, the Design Council, Fields in Trust, CLES and others we are creating resources to help councils and communities that want to introduce 20 minute neighbourhoods to their area.

The first of these resources, a free webinar held in October 2020, can be seen by clicking on the link below.


Guide: The 20 Minute Neighbourhood (2021)

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 wellbeing, increasing social connections in communities, and tackling climate change.  

The TCPA with Sport England have been working with partners including Sustrans, Design Council, Fields in Trust, CLES and others to look at how the idea could be introduced in the context of the English planning system.  

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.

Download the Guide here.


For information about this project please contact Tim Emery at [email protected].


Past events:

Introducing 20 Minute Neighbourhoods - Session One: The 20-minute neighbourhood or the 15-minute city? What do we mean and why does it matter now?

Introducing 20 Minute Neighbourhoods - Session Two: Creating complete and compact places

Introducing 20 Minute Neighbourhoods - Session Three: 20-minute neighbourhoods in practice: strategies, plans and processes

'The 20-Minute Neighbourhood: learning from Down Under' - webinar held in October 2020, free to view:

This was, I think, the most valuable hour I've spent in a webinar since lockdown. Many thanks!

- anonymous feedback