Believe it or not, this is not just something I made up. There is a fair old bit of academic thought and research about it and how it can help meet the challenges of the modern world.
Three compelling events have occurred over recent decades that make this particularly relevant now:
There are many others but this triptych sheds a shining light on the opportunity to rethink town and city planning in 2021. Many of the old ways such as bisecting cities with dual carriageways and expediting polluting and expensive trunk road traffic through towns are no longer compelling. In fact, they have become antisocial and the community at large is rapidly gaining an awareness of this.
At the risk of misappropriating what has recently become a cliche, we are currently caught in a perfect storm that is propelling us to view our future differently from what has been seen as best practice in the past.
Re-enter the 15-minute neighbourhood
This is not a new concept, just a fresh encapsulation of what seemed like common sense in the past.
Essentially, it is a neighbourhood in which the majority of the residents' needs are met within a 15-minute "bubble" without using a car or van. The needs would vary depending on the requirements of a specific community but are likely to include Employment, Healthcare, Education, Sport/Leisure, Groceries, Social Interaction and Entertainment.
It would be superb if interested readers would contribute their own views on essential needs. Comments on this blog would be amazing but a tweet to @mark4faringdon would be just as good.
I'll finish off this episode (wouldn't want readers to spend more than 15 minutes reading it, would I) with a plea:
Planners: Please consider Active Travel needs before approving development plans.
Coming soon: The conditions required for a 15-minute neighbourhood/community/town/suburb; how to improve a current neighbourhood; how did we drift so far from this?; devices, including funding, for making this happen; electronically-assisted self-propelled devices.