RTPI Scotland wants ’20-minute neighbourhoods’ concept embedded in planning system


THE Scottish Government has been urged to ensure the concept of ’20-minute neighbourhoods’ is embedded in the nation’s planning system.

In a new report, RTPI Scotland said planning reform in Scotland, including the implementation of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, provides an ‘excellent opportunity’ to update a range of planning policy, development management and public service delivery, to reflect the importance of 20-minute neighbourhoods.

Barbara Cummins, convenor of RTPI Scotland, explained, “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound and lasting impact across the world. Planning, as a proactive and visionary profession, must play a pivotal role in supporting a post-Covid recovery and reinventing our places.

“The concept of 20-minute neighbourhoods, where daily services can be accessed within a 20-minute walk, has gained significant traction across the world as a means of supporting this recovery, so we are calling on the Scottish government to conduct a review in order to embed this concept into planning policy, to support delivery through development management and place-based partnership.”

RTPI Scotland wants policymakers to come up with a ‘common understanding’ of the key components of 20-minute neighbourhoods in the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) and through the publication of revised ‘Designing Streets’ and ‘Creating Places’ national policies.

The report also calls for digital planning approaches to be used to collect, ‘robust’ data to inform Local Development Plans (LDPs) and also recommends a review of the Development Planning and Management Transport Appraisal Guidance (DPMTAG), which is used to assess the impact of LDP strategies on transport networks.