Living locally and the 20 minute neighbourhood

The places we live, work and socialise hold significant importance in modern life and attention to it is essential for planners, policy makers and public health professionals. Designing and creating healthy places is at the forefront of urban planning and sits at the heart of many national and intergovernmental principles and policies, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The concept of a 20-minute neighbourhood and living locally is receiving interest and strong policy support from local and national governments worldwide, including Scotland. The concept is rooted in a compact city approach that encourages the development of local areas with short walking distances from residents' homes to access public transport, public open space and good destination accessibility to facilities and services for daily living. This design policy is touted as being beneficial for health.

Places and Health programme related projects:

  • Conducted a baseline assessment of access to a number of living locally domains for all Scottish residential locations.
  • Created the Scottish Living Locally Data Portal (SLLDP) to provide postcode, datazone and local authority level accessibility data.
  • Explored distance to and use of natural spaces in the context of the 20-minute neighbourhood.

Access to and use of natural space in the context of the 20-minute neighbourhood

Urban natural spaces such as parks, open and blue spaces, have been shown to be beneficial for our health. There is strong evidence that living or spending time in areas that are 'greener' is associated with many positive health outcomes.

We have conducted research to explore trends and inequalities in distance to and use of nearest natural space for all Scottish adults, and socioeconomic inequality in Scottish children's exposure to and use of natural space

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