Local can be strategic

There is a good case for encouraging small scale, sustainable transport projects across Scotland and there should be recognition that a strategic approach to transport does not need to be about big, flagship, investment. It can be about small-scale investment at a local level across the country. We envisage multiple small projects so that the collective scale makes it a major investment. The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places philosophy is useful in thinking about this – ‘local projects, meeting local priorities and needs, determined at a local level to deliver national outcomes’. This approach will be important in delivering the 20-minute neighbourhood concept.

Why the contribution is important

The 20-minute neighbourhood is all about ‘living locally’ – giving people the ability to meet most of their everyday needs within a 20-minute walk, wheel, cycle, or local public transport trip from home. This will be important in achieving behaviour change towards more sustainable travel and in creating better places for people. This also has the potential benefit of distributing investment in a more equitable way and reducing travel and health inequalities. More small scale, local transport development – especially for active travel and public transport – within a framework that ensures common standards and quality across the country can bring positive impacts on health via air quality and physical activity. Different approaches will be needed in different settings – what works in a city will be different to what works in a rural community. Local Place Plans will be an important tool in delivering the 20minute neighbourhood concept – which will need a different approach depending on local circumstances. The 20-minute neighbourhood is all about ‘living locally’ – giving people the ability to meet most of their everyday needs within a 20-minute walk, wheel, cycle, or local public transport trip from home. The National Planning Framework (NPF4), currently in development, is an important opportunity to embed these ideas in plans for the walkable Scotland of the future.

by IMcC on June 22, 2021 at 04:00PM

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