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Can the ‘15-Minute Neighbourhood’ be Applied to Rural Wales?


A new paper released by Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Cymru discusses the concept of ‘living locally’ asking, can the ‘15-minute neighbourhood’ model be applied to Rural Wales?

The paper explores whether the guiding principles of the 15-minute neighbourhood model can apply to remote, rural areas, and what the role of planners and the planning system would play within this model.

The project concluded with several recommendations:

  • A need for a more outcome focused performance measurement to support the delivery of sustainable rural places.
  • Support for joint and collaborative working, involving planners from the outset.
  • Improved connections between locations to services and facilities.
  • Support for local planning tools such as community led Place Plans and community engagement.
  • Good practice shared across rural authorities along with continued investigation, discussion and learning on how planning can support living locally in rural Wales.

RTPI Cymru is seeking feedback from members, and encourages members to discuss Living Locally further at theRTPI Cymru Spring Conference in Deganwy on the 30th March 2022.

Rhian Brimble, Policy Officer at RTPI Cymru said:

“Heightened by the pandemic, planners and stakeholders are looking at alternative methods for addressing pressures and opportunities in rural areas, as well as tackling key issues such as the climate, the environment, the economy, society and health.

“The 15-minute neighbourhood model aims to encourage and support communities to access their daily goods and services locally, by sustainable means. This of course becomes more complex in a rural context. The paper therefore considers the concept, without the set measure of a timeframe or distance, using ‘local’ as a more fluid term.

“This paper aims to initiate a discussion in Wales on the opportunities, and different impacts of living more locally in rural Wales and how planning can embrace this.”