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.

‘Welcome to Fauldmuir: A 20 Minute Neighbourhood (Imagined)’ produced for SURF by Mitch Miller

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 Events, Information and Communications  Manager Emma Scott.

Research, Policy Development and Case Studies

20 Minute Neighbourhoods in a Scottish Context – Ramboll research for ClimateXchange that explores to what extent neighbourhoods across Scotland display characteristics that meet the 20 minute neighbourhood definition and provides a baseline assessment, links to maps and and an explanatory webinar.

Shaping Places for Wellbeing Programme – a delivery partnership between the Improvement Service and Public Health Scotland that includes rapid scoping assessments for Ardrossan North Shore Development Framework, Edinburgh Local Development Plan and Argyll and Bute Indicative Regional Spatial Strategy.

Elected Member Briefing Note on 20 Minute Neighbourhoods – from the Improvement Service.

Because We Say So! – A Local Place Plan with 20 Minute Neighbourhood embedded as an approach  for Tradeston, Kingston, Kinning Park, Plantation, Cessnock and Ibrox supported by the Kinning Park Complex.

Living Well Locally – City of Edinburgh Council high level 20 Minute Neighbourhood Strategy adopted in June 2021.

Liveable Neighbourhoods – Glasgow City Council toolkit provides a community and place based approach, which seeks to balance interventions associated with the streetscape and wider social and economic potential.

Implementing 20 Minute Neighbourhoods in Planning Policy and Practice – Briefing paper from RTPI Scotland

20 Minute Neighbourhoods: map based search – Drop a pin and see what services and facilities are with 800m of anywhere in Scotland

Meeting Two 16th September 2021

The second meeting of the Network included presentations from Public Health Scotland and Scottish Futures Trust.


20 Minute Neighbourhood Practice Network Agenda – 16th Sept

Attendance List

Chat Notes


SURF – 20 Minute Neighbourhood in Programme for Government

John Howie, PHS – PHS – Place Standard Tool

Diarmaid Lawlor, SFT – Scottish Futures Trust

Meeting One 27 July 2021

The first meeting of the Network included presentations from Ramboll, City of Edinburgh Council and the Kinning Park Complex.


20 Minute Neighbourhood Practice Network Agenda – 27th July

Attendance List

Chat Notes


SURF – 20 MN Practice Network Intro

Ramboll – Ramboll Slides

Kinning Park Complex – KPC Slides

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