Smart Transport

What is a 15-minute neighbourhood?

Aerial Houses Residential British England Drone Above View Summer Blue

The legacy of lockdown could promote a place-making revolution in urban planning. Mark Sutcliffe investigates the 15-minute city model

The 15-minute neighbourhood involves a menu of policy actions that provide residents access to most, if not all, of their needs within a short walk or bike ride from their home. 

Based upon four pillars, proximity, diversity, density and ubiquity, 15-minute policies transform urban spaces into connected and self-sufficient (or ‘complete’) neighbourhoods.

Reducing car use and encouraging active travel are central to delivering the 15-minute vision.

The 15-minute neighbourhood serves as an organising principle for urban development and urban life that makes life more liveable for residents, by improving air quality and making neighbourhoods safer, quieter, more diverse, inclusive and economically vibrant.

It requires a move towards a more decentralised and devolved planning framework that understands in granular detail the unique characteristics of each neighbourhood and encourages development that will demonstrably improve the quality of life of the residents in those neighbourhoods. 

In the UK, there are relatively few examples of planning policies and interventions that nurture 15-minute neighbourhoods, but the low traffic neighbourhoods being pioneered in Waltham Forest and Sheffield – and those planned for Bristol, Bath, Manchester and other cities – are tentative first steps.

Read Mark Sutcliffe's full article in the latest issue of Smart Transport Journal



Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


Conference speakers

Agenda topics


Watch now

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


No comments have been made yet.