Creating a more liveable Melbourne through 20-minute neighbourhoods

Creating a more liveable Melbourne through 20-minute neighbourhoods

As Melbourne’s population grows to 9 million by 2056, we need to think differently about how government works with communities to design our city, improve public health and support a transition to a low carbon future.

Healthy and walkable neighbourhoods are key to maintaining Melbourne’s liveability. 20-minute neighbourhoods are the Victorian Government’s vision for creating a liveable city where everyone can meet their daily needs within a 20-minute walk from home, with access to safe cycle routes and local public transport options.

The areas in Melbourne that are the most walkable are often the most liveable. Walkable areas feature higher density living, a diverse mix of land uses, a range of destinations, and multiple active and public transport options. As summarised in the 20-minute neighbourhoods - Creating a more liveable Melbourne report , there is overwhelming evidence that active, walkable places produce a wealth of health, social, economic and environmental benefits.

A program was launched in 2018 to test the practical delivery of 20-minute neighbourhoods as part of whole-of-government pilots. The Victorian Government has been working in a partnership led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning with the Heart Foundation, Victoria Walks and local councils to deliver projects in Croydon South, Strathmore and Sunshine West. These projects tested approaches to delivering 20-minute neighbourhoods in partnership with the community. The Heart Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services have been key project participants, with planning for healthy communities at the centre of the work on 20-minute neighbourhoods.

The community-led projects identified opportunities to manage growth while improving walkability and local infrastructure.

Key recommendations from the pilot program include that we:

  • investigate strategies to scale up and fund further projects
  • embed an approach to 20-minute neighbourhoods in state infrastructure projects
  • monitor neighbourhood liveability to better measure public health and wellbeing
  • encourage better neighbourhood design to ensure density is done well.
  • Visit the Plan Melbourne website to learn about what a 20-minute neighbourhood means for your community and read the findings and recommendations from the 20-Minute Neighbourhood Pilot Program.

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