Knowledge exchange on 20-minute neighbourhoods

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Published: 29/08/2022

We recently brought people together to share knowledge on how to map and deliver a 20-minute neighbourhood. Participants of the session included a group of team leads, officers and technicians from Fife and City of Edinburgh Council.

The session forms part of the support Key Agencies Group partners are offering to Fife with the early-stage preparation of their Local Development Plan and enabled an exchange of 20-minute neighbourhood practice at whole local authority scale.

The recently published draft NPF4 and Local Development Plan guidance calls for evidence gathering, planning and delivery of 20-minute neighbourhoods, so authorities across Scotland will be looking to develop new practices and approaches. 

Sharing approaches and reflections

A mixed group of team leads, officers and technicians from Fife and Edinburgh came together to exchange approaches, methodologies, and reflections on practice. Discussion and learning points included:

  • how and where to get started on mapping
  • adapting criteria/methodology for the rural context
  • scale of the challenge across a whole place – light touch vs in-depth analysis
  • analysis and graphic representation of data – including ‘Heatmapping’ of services 
  • purpose and wider application of mapping – potential to inform site selection
  • mapping for quality of place – qualitative plus quantitative
  • skills and capacity – includes Geographic Information System (GIS) officers
  • relationship of 20-minute neighbourhood mapping to open space mapping 
  • tailoring mapping – neighbourhood centres vs individual places/services
  • delivering 20-minute neighbourhoods – strategy and dedicated cross-disciplinary team approach 

Key takeaways from the sessions

One key takeaway from discussions was the need for and value of developing common criteria, methodologies and data sets, given that authorities right across Scotland will be tackling this new requirement.

Baseline lists of data sets, a common approach or methodology and/or case study examples would offer a helpful starting point or steer local authority teams on how to approach their categorisation, mapping and delivery.   

We will feed back headline learning points from the discussions to Scottish Government colleagues who are developing a routemap on 20-minute neighbourhoods.

“Thank you for the session yesterday – I found it really interesting and helpful. Good to know we are all feeling our way a bit with this.”

Planning Officer

Header image credit: ThisisEnginnering RAEng on Unsplash