Cities Seeking '20-Minute Living'

Reducing car dependency can improve air quality, increase access to jobs and opportunities, and help cities meet emissions reduction goals.

May 30, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


walkable street

Dewita Soeharjono / Flickr

Like other cities around the country, Eugene, Oregon is "pushing several initiatives to promote '20-minute living,' the ability to reach important destinations like grocery stores and workplaces within that time frame." As reported by Haisten Willis in the Washington Post, city leaders want to make 90% of Eugene "20-minute friendly" by 2030, a goal that supporters say will improve air quality and resident health, raise property values, and reduce transportation costs.

Terri Harding, Eugene's principal planner for long-range planning, calls compact development and 20-minute neighborhoods the "pillars of growth management" for the city. The city's downtown, as a cultural and civic hub, is already a "gold-star 20-minute neighborhood," but "enhancing walkability farther out will be challenging."

Improving access isn't just about promoting biking and walking and enhancing transit. "Making cities more walkable involves creating a more compact footprint, where more businesses are built near existing homes. But it also means building housing near existing businesses, such as stores and restaurants." As deeply intertwined issues, transportation and land use must be approached simultaneously. "While the term '20-minute neighborhood' seems to refer primarily to transportation, it also speaks to land use. Planning and zoning are major factors as well, with more mixed-use and infill development needed to realize the vision."

Thursday, May 20, 2021 in The Washington Post

Brooklyn Redevelopment

Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.

September 15, 2021 - Full Stack Economics

Los Angeles, California

The End of Single-Family Zoning in California

Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.

September 19, 2021 - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

The city of Siena in Italy, located on a hillside and bathed in Tuscan sunlight.

Building on Jacobs: The City Emergent; Beyond Streets and Buildings

A science of cities reveals the way cities grow, and why.

September 20, 2021 - Fanis Grammenos

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.