20-minute neighbourhoods

The 20-minute neighbourhood is an urban planning concept where neighbourhoods are designed to make sure everything you need is close to home and a walkable distance away.

In essence, 20-minute neighbourhoods provide communities with access to the every-day basics – public transport, shops, schools, parks, leisure options, health care – all within a 20-minute radius, by foot or bike.

They are intended to enable people to move about easily without needing to travel long distances, ensuring those without a car can access the services they need.

They make townships more walkable, and enable people who drive, ride or use a mobility device to move around more easily.

20-minute neighbourhoods also help people feel more connected with their communities.

Notwithstanding the challenges for an area like Nillumbik, with often steep topography which can challenge accessibility, 20-minute neighbourhoods are key to minimising urban sprawl.

Plan Melbourne 2017–2050 (Department of Transport and Planning) is the Victorian Government’s long-term planning strategy, guiding the way the city will grow and change to 2050. Plan Melbourne is supported by the principle of 20-minute neighbourhoods.

The Nillumbik Draft Housing Strategy (as required) aligns to the following objectives of Plan Melbourne: 

  1. Safe accessible and well-connected for pedestrians and cyclists to optimise active transport.
  2. Facilitate thriving local economies. Facilitate thriving local economies.
  3. Provide services and destinations that support local living.
  4. Support climate resilient communities.
  5. High quality public realm and open spaces.
  6. Deliver housing/population at densities that make local services and transport viable.

The following video from the Department of Transport and Planning outlines some of the key features of 20-minute neighbourhoods.

To read more about 20-minute neighbourhoods, please see the Department of Transport and Planning’s website.

What 20-minute neighbourhoods are not

The 20-minute neighbourhood as an urban planning principle is not aligned in any way to ‘smart cities’.

A smart city is the concept of a technologically modern city/urban space that uses different types of electronic methods and sensors to collect data.

This data can be used by councils to improve the services we provide to our community, and in the efficient management of assets and resources.