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 A4 – Description by Green Action Trust

Connection & Belonging in Our 20-Minute Neighbourhoods – Culture Counts

Exploring Scotland’s 20-minute neighbourhoods: final report published – The Alliance

Live Well Locally: 20 Minute Communities in the Highlands and Islands – Nick Wright Planning for HITRANS and Sustrans

20 Minute Villages Development Project – Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park

Natural space and 20 min neighbourhoods research – Greenspace Scotland

Nationwide equity assessment of the 20-min neighbourhood in the scottish context: A socio-spatial proximity analysis of residential locations – Jonathan Olsen, Uni. of Glasgow

Meeting Six 29th September 2022

The sixth meeting of the Network included presentations from the University of Dundee and Drymen Community Development Trust.


Programme for 20 MN Meeting – 29 Sept

Attendance List

Chat Notes

Presentations and Recordings

Recording – https://youtu.be/KKonq_xr5EI

University of Dundee – To be added

Drymen CDT – Richard Boddington

Meeting Five 21st July 2022

The fifth meeting of the Network included presentations from Aberdeenshire Council, University of Glasgow and Transport Scotland.


Programme for 20 MN Meeting – 21 July

Attendance List

Chat Notes

Presentations and Recording

Recording – https://youtu.be/O4Xz_Gmf1rg 

Aberdeenshire Council – Paul Macari and Lucy Styles

Transport Scotland – Flora Ogilivie

Conference 27th April 2022

This conference session for the Network included presentations from Living Streets, Nick Wright, Husam Alwaer, CoMo UK and Natalie Whittle.


Programme for 20 MN Conference

20 MN Conference – Attendance List

Chat Notes

Presentations and Recording

Recording – https://youtu.be/K2NL-OMQfDU

SURF – SURF 20MN Opening Remarks

Living Streets – Stuart Hay

Living Streets – Anne Docherty

Nick Wright Planning – Nick Wright

CoMo UK – CoMoUK

Meeting Three 20th January 2022

The third meeting of the Network included presentations from Scottish Rural Action and the Scottish Government Chief Planner.


20 Min Neighbourhood Practice Network Agenda – 20th Jan

Attendance List

Chat Notes

Presentations and Recording

Scottish Rural Action – 20 MN through a rural and island lens – Presentation for SURF Network

Scottish Government – SURF – 20MN – January 2022

SRA Report – 20 MN in Rural & Island Scotland – Report from Practitioner Round

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

Presentations and Recording

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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