Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Comparative Analysis of 20-Minute Neighbourhood Policies and Practices in Melbourne and Scotland

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Abstract:  Twenty-minute neighbourhoods highlight the importance of well-connected and mixed-used neighbourhoods and communities with proximate access to employment, essential services, public transport, and open spaces. Shorter distances together with re-prioritised public spaces encourage more active transport choices, resulting in public health benefits and reduced environmental pollution. Higher liveability brought about by mixed-use developments enables people to have equitable access to local facilities, amenities, and employment opportunities, promoting vibrancy, social cohesion, and intergenerational connections. The attributes of 20-minute neighbourhoods also combine to create places, that are acknowledged as friendly for all ages, address changing needs across the life course, and provide better support for the ageing population. Furthermore, there are indications that 20-minute neighbourhoods may be more resilient against many of the negative impacts of stringent public health protocols such as those implemented in periods of lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this article, we evaluate and compare planning policies and practices aimed at establishing 20-minute neighbourhoods in Melbourne (Australia) and Scotland (the UK). Using case studies, we discuss similarities and differences involved in using place-based approaches of 20-minute neighbourhoods to address 21st-century challenges in key areas of health and wellbeing, equity, environmental sustainability, and community resilience.

Keywords:  20-minute neighbourhood; accessibility; active transport; age-friendly; Australia; climate change; Covid-19; liveability; Scotland; walkability



© Hing-Wah Chau, Ian Gilzean, Elmira Jamei, Lesley Palmer, Terri Preece, Martin Quirke. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.