Living locally and the rise of the 20-minute neighbourhood

The ability to work, live and play all within 20 minutes’ reach is the new gold standard for urban planning.

Imagine being able to carry out your daily activities within a 20-minute walk from home.

Neighbourhood2All the things you need in a day would be just a short walk away.

In planning circles, it’s a concept known as the 20-minute neighbourhood, and it could be on the cards for your area sooner than you think.

The rise of the 20-minute neighbourhood has come from people’s desire to return to living locally and planners’ recognition that these neighbourhoods offer high levels of liveability, says UNSW Built Environment Professor Linda Corkery.

“The goal of the 20-minute neighbourhood is to make available the essentials of day-to-day life within a convenient walk from home,” she says.

“This means having shops and services, schools, public transport, and employment within a 20-minute walk.

“So considering a typical day, I might need to get my kids to school, collect a script at the chemist, meet a friend for coffee, pick up groceries, and ideally that could all be done on foot.

“The 20-minute distance stems from what is considered an average walking time for a healthy adult to cover roughly 800m,” she says, “taking into account the general ‘walkability’ of the area.”

The benefits of living local

Professor Corkery says the 20-minute neighbourhood offers a range of benefits beyond convenience.

“Residents of these neighbourhoods often have a strong sense of community and connection to place,” she says.

“People are out and about on the street socialising, supporting local businesses, being involved with local schools, enjoying local parks. It helps all those kinds of things.”

One of the fundamental principles underpinning the idea is to promote walkable neighbourhoods that will get people moving and can, in turn, deliver healthier lifestyles and improved public health, generally.

“There are also environmental benefits to be gained if people aren’t jumping in their cars all the time to do local errands.”

Professor Corkery says living under COVID-19 restrictions for the past several months has emphasised the benefits of the 20-minute neighbourhood.

“It’s come sharply into focus because we’ve had to stay at home and only go outside for ‘essential’ activities’” she says.

“People are re-discovering their local areas, and we’re seeing increased use of local parks and streets for daily exercise.

“And, we’re taking more notice of the amenity, or lack of, in local neighbourhood environments.

In some places we can see the need to have better street design, improved footpaths, street trees, and connections to local green spaces,” she says.

“We’re also realising that we may not need to travel into [work] every day,” she says.

“We’re learning how to engage students with their learning when we’re all operating from different locations. In fact, we’re saving a lot of time by not commuting and valuing more the benefits of our local communities.”

Becoming a 20-minute neighbourhood

Professor Corkery says 20-minute neighbourhoods won’t happen overnight.

Planning for them involves detailed analysis of existing facilities, businesses and services, local open spaces and activity patterns.

Melbourne“Residents need to communicate their fine-grain knowledge and appreciation of local neighbourhood features to their local council to assist this planning.”

“As landscape architects, we focus on the quality of the public realm, for example, to make sure there are safe and accessible footpaths that connect you to attractive and comfortable public spaces,” she says.

“Beyond the neighbourhood, those connections can get you to a bus stop or train station that connects you to your employment.”

In Australia, the City of Melbourne has led the charge for using the 20-minute concept to shape their future city around a series of such neighbourhoods.

Professor Corkery notes that in Sydney, many of the older, close-in suburbs are already 20-minute neighbourhoods which makes them popular locations.

“Of course, popularity boosts property values and then living locally becomes unaffordable,” she says.

“We need to make that housing options available that will make it possible for families and young professionals to live in these neighbourhoods – and at the other end of the spectrum enable older people to age in place.”

Ultimately, achieving a 20-minute neighbourhood will require the integrated efforts of many disciplines but has the potential to deliver vital, productive, and sustainable urban communities, she adds.

Now is the time to take action and set yourself for the opportunities that will present themselves as the market moves on


If you’re wondering what will happen to property in 2020–2021 you are not alone.

You can trust the team at Metropole to provide you with direction, guidance and results.

In challenging times like we are currently experiencing you need an advisor who takes a holistic approach to your wealth creation and that’s what you exactly what you get from the multi award winning team at Metropole.

If you’re looking at buying your next home or investment property here’s 4 ways we can help you:

  1. Strategic property advice. – Allow us to build a Strategic Property Plan for you and your family.  Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now!  This will give you direction, results and more certainty. Click here to learn more
  2. Buyer’s agency – As Australia’s most trusted buyers’ agents we’ve been involved in over $3Billion worth of transactions creating wealth for our clients and we can do the same for you. Our on the ground teams in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane bring you years of experience and perspective – that’s something money just can’t buy. We’ll help you find your next home or an investment grade property.  Click here to learn how we can help you.
  3. Wealth Advisory – We can provide you with strategic tailored financial planning and wealth advice. Click here to learn more about we can help you.
  4. Property Management – Our stress free property management services help you maximise your property returns. Click here to find out why our clients enjoy a vacancy rate considerably below the market average, our tenants stay an average of 3 years and our properties lease 10 days faster than the market average.

Subscribe & don’t miss a single episode of Michael Yardney’s podcast

Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.

Need help listening to Michael Yardney’s podcast from your phone or tablet?

We have created easy to follow instructions for you whether you're on iPhone / iPad or an Android device.


Prefer to subscribe via email?

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.

Bryce Yardney


Bryce is a property development specialist, having successfully sourced, project managed and completed hundreds of development projects for Metropole’s clients, helping them create substantial wealth.Visit

'Living locally and the rise of the 20-minute neighbourhood' have no comments

Be the first to comment this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.


Copyright © Michael Yardney’s Property Investment Update Important Information
Content Marketing by GridConcepts