20-Minute Neighbourhoods

Design Feature
Project Type

The places people live have a direct impact on their health and wellbeing. Connected, walkable places, where people can live, work, play, access local services and spend their free time, are the cornerstones of a healthy community.

Living locally, accessing your daily needs in a 20-minute walk

The Victorian Government believes these essential services should be within a 20-minute return walk and be able to be accessed through safe cycling networks, local public transport and walkable pathways. This concept, as detailed in the Victorian State Government’s Plan Melbourne 2017–2050 long-term planning strategy, envisages creating compact, walkable and liveable neighbourhoods across the city.

20-Minute Neighbourhoods

Plan Melbourne is centred around giving people the ability to meet most of their daily needs within a 20-minute walk from home; this promotes active living and supports social interactions. Socially isolated people (including older people) in low-density developed areas engage in lower rates of physical activity, and are subsequently at greater risk of chronic disease, such as coronary heart disease. Low rates of physical activity also place people at higher risk of developing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. This plan attempts to alleviate these pressures and contributes to providing a better quality of life for all people in the community, including older adults.

20-Minute Neighbourhoods

The ‘hallmarks’ of a 20 Minute Neighbourhood were developed in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Heart Foundation (Victoria), during the preparation of Plan Melbourne. The ‘hallmarks’ outline that a 20-Minute Neighbourhood must:

  • Be safe, accessible and well-connected for pedestrians and cyclists, to optimise active transport.
  • Offer high-quality public open spaces.
  • Provide services and destinations that support local living.
  • Facilitate access to quality public transport that connects people to jobs and higher-order services.
  • Deliver housing/population at densities that make local services and transport viable.
  • Facilitate thriving local economies.
20-Minute Neighbourhoods

In 2018, the 20-Minute Neighbourhood Pilot Program was launched by the Victorian Minister for Planning. Stage One was implemented in three pilot sites in within Moonee Valley City Council, Maroondah City Council and Brimbank City Council. Stage Two of the project was carried out in greenfield areas in the Wyndham City Council and Mitchell Shire Council. Findings indicate that strong partnerships and integrated planning are needed to effectively design the built environment to accommodate 20-Minute Neighbourhoods, which can help to create a liveable, healthy active and neighbourhood.

Project Team

  • Victorian State Government: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Moonee Valley, Brimbank City Council, aroondah City Councils. Wyndham City Council and Mitchell Shire Council
  • Victoria Walks
  • The Heart Foundation (Victoria)
  • Resilient Melbourne
  • The Department of Transport (DoT)
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
  • Victorian Planning Authority (VPA)

Project Cost


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