The 20-Minute Neighborhood

The 20-Minute Neighborhood

What if you could reach everything you could possibly need within 20 minutes of leaving your front door?  This is a movement that is stretching across the globe – from Melbourne, Australia, to Portland, Oregon – and is exactly what we’re talking about for little ol’ White Flint, Maryland.  A 20-minute neighborhood offers food, schools, parks and transit within a short walk from your home.  Not only are there economic benefits when residents’ hard-earned dollars remain local, but there are health and community benefits, as well.

To create a 20-minute neighborhood, though, we need not only grocery stores and other commercial options, but we need to ensure safe pedestrian access.  The improved street grid and safety plans for the White Flint district will move our area in the right direction, from an infrastructure perspective.

The city of Melbourne, from whom the above image came, recently released a strategy paper on how to make this happen:

A 20-minute city should have jobs for outer area residents and diverse housing in the right location at a reasonable price, a preview of the blueprint released yesterday states.

A “principles” paper released earlier this year said 20-minute cities had “safe, convenient and attractive local areas” that met the daily needs of residents with good local employment prospects and local services.

Mr Guy told the ABC that the city centre should operate over 24 hours but it needed to be managed.

Read more:

Vancouver and Calgary are also marching in this direction; their goals are 15-minute neighborhoods.  Read more about them here.

Montgomery County is starting to hit all the right points by retrofitting our suburb to ensure services, transit and amenities within closer proximity to our homes and jobs.  They’ve also completed work on the Nighttime Economy – an important piece mentioned in the Melbourne plan.  Once again, we need not reinvent the wheel in order to build a vibrant White Flint – our neighbors from around the world are forging the path with exciting results!

Lindsay Hoffman


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