This SURF initiative, supported by the Scottish Government, brings regeneration practitioners together to explore the practical application of the 20 minute neighbourhood concept in deprived places across Scotland.

Popularised in Oregon, Australia and Scandinavia, 20 minute neighbourhoods are places in which residents can meet almost all of their essential needs including employment, education, health care, shopping and leisure within comfortable walking distance from their home. The approach is designed to create benefits for local economies, health and wellbeing, community cohesion, pride of place, and climate change.

As SURF’s 2021 Manifesto for Community Regeneration demonstrated, the SURF network has a keen enthusiasm towards the concept, which is also highlighted prominently in the current Programme for Government in Scotland.

’20 minute neighbourhoods’ are places where people can live, work and learn close to home

Activities and Participants

SURF’s 20 Minute Neighbourhood Practice Network provides a free activities programme, including:

  • Regular network meetings
  • Information sharing in a dedicated newsletter
  • National conferences
  • Policy discussions
  • Learning reports
  • International case studies

The network is open to everyone with an interest in, or responsibility for, the regeneration of disadvantaged places in Scotland. This may include those working or volunteering in businesses, charities, community groups, housing associations, local government, national public bodies, and social enterprises.


The main intended outcomes of the initiative are:

  • Regeneration practitioners from all sectors will have an enhanced understanding of the policy intentions and the methods, resources, guidance, tools and other support available to help them support the development of inclusive 20 minute neighbourhoods in poorer places;
  • Regeneration practitioners will have better access to regional, national and international exemplars and associated learning outcomes relevant to the Scottish context;
  • Regeneration stakeholders, in and beyond SURF’s Practice Network, will have an improved awareness of the potential and applicability of the 20-minute neighbourhood concept and related policy, practice and funding developments, for their own work context;
  • The Scottish Government will have additional practical and conceptual insights on how the 20 minute neighbourhood model is helping to deliver more successful, collaborative and sustainable place-based improvements, as part of its broader regeneration strategy.

Get Involved

If you are interested in joining this network, and receiving regular information on news, developments and upcoming events, please contact SURF’s Information, Communications and Events Manager Emma Scott.

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