One thing we have learnt this week- 20 minute neighbourhoods

Custom made bike for carrying children Amsterdam

Custom made bike for carrying children Amsterdam

I’ve never heard of 20 minute neighbourhoods until now but saw a link on a friend of our books facebook page.  20 minute neighbourhoods are something that Portland in the US, if not pioneered, is obviously intent on introducing.  What are 20 minute neighbourhoods?  The concept is that you can walk and reach everywhere “important” in 20 minutes.

This raises the important question of what is important to a neighbourhood?  This of course will vary from person to person and also with age.  Its a useful question to ask.  For me access to shops, green space, church, leisure centre (swimming pool and gym) and occasionally health centres is important.  Older people might want easy access to clubs and day centres and children safe access to playparks and schools.   Disabled people would have other questions about access.  This should affect planning particularly for commercial usage and what developers provide.  Does there need to be replication of services between 20 minute neighbourhoods?

20 minute neighbourhoods will also require linking to other neighbourhoods with easy access via cycle and public transport.  This of course raise another slew of questions. Are the buses and trains clean running, do they have access for disabled, do they run at anti-social hours, are they affordable?  Are the cycle routes off road, if so what does this mean for pavements and parking?

20 minute neighbourhoods is interesting concept and sounds very much in keeping with peak oil.   Good for Portland who we mentioned in our book due to its strong cycling* record.


* somewhere on our book FB page there is a picture of a woman in Portland cycling with 7 children on her bike and trailer.

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