20-minute neighbourhood

As part of the Wellbeing and Equalities priority which aims to ensure well-being and equalities are enhanced for all, Outcome 12 in the Business Plan introduces the 20-minute neighbourhood principle.

Outcome 12 

People can access the support they need in the place they live and work

  • Through our principle of a '20-minute neighbourhood' we will consult citizens on the location of hubs where everyone can use services in a 20-minute round trip on foot, cycle or public transport. This will shorten local travel patterns and reduce citizen's carbon footprint. We want services in town centres, as set out in the City Plan 2030. Still, we also want to consider where our most vulnerable residents live and our more rural residents' needs. This will support our community plan's 'a good place to live' priority.
  • Develop a new model for libraries that aligns with the '20-minute neighbourhood' concept, giving our citizens good local access to library services via public transport or active travel. Integrating libraries into our wider estate will allow us to manage them more efficiently and allow opening times to be broader than at present. 
  • Working with Edinburgh Leisure, we want to improve affordable leisure services that residents can use in some parts of the city. 

The response to Covid-19 will undoubtedly mean that Edinburgh Leisure will need to realign its core business due to financial pressures and changes in customer demand. 

However, we need to make sure that any changes assist those people in poverty and improve the wellbeing of the city's residents.

Our ambition is to work toward a model of 20-minute neighbourhoods across the city. This supports the development of strong local community networks, with Council and partner agency services delivered through multi-service delivery points close to, and easily accessible for, all citizens.

Most of the daily needs would be situated within 20-minutes by foot, cycle, or public transport - 20-minute round trip 'ten minutes there – ten minutes home', this creates successful:

  • well-connected local places
  • builds new models of shared service delivery with partners including key role of the voluntary sector
  • delivers synergies between services and 'serendipity' of finding out more from one visit
  • takes our best assets and delivers more services from them, creating more fit for purpose, sustainable assets
  • creates a strategic approach to the location of our services rather than the existing organic way buildings have grown up over the last century
  • all key to supporting a growing city in a sustainable manner

A phased programme over 10 years, will start with:

First phase 21/22:

  • City wide engagement on concept late spring
  • Initial community dialogue on first focus areas May/June 21
  • Proposals for change in first focus areas Autumn 21
  • Ongoing engagement with partner agencies and voluntary sector to define best local solutions and relationships