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September 12, 2022
7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Member Forum on Zoom under Chatham House rule
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20-Minute Neighbourhoods and Sustainability

MF Interest Group: Sustainability Leadership

Hosted by:
Prof Billie Giles-Corti
Weston Lewis

September 12, 2022 @ 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm


The way we live in our city has changed. And with this change is an increased interest on the liveability of neighbourhoods, with people spending more time locally, working at home if possible, using public green space, cycling and walking instead of using cars and connecting with neighbours.

Adding to the momentum is Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 that encourages making “cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.”

The idea of ’20-minute neighbourhoods’ has been gaining momentum for several years and is already being implemented in places around the world including Melbourne. In fact, creating a city of 20-minute neighbourhoods is a key policy direction of Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 >>

The characteristics of 20-minute neighbourhoods are: active mobility, have housing diversity, offer employment opportunities, provide affordable housing, the ability to age in place, provide playgrounds, schools, health facilities, retail and ensure access to sports and recreation facilities available.

The benefits of this approach are multiple: people become more active, improve their mental and physical health; traffic is reduced, and air quality improved; local shops and businesses thrive; and people see more of their local communities.

Guiding the discussion are two Melbourne Forum members, Prof. Billie Giles-Corti who is a Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at RMIT University, led an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communities from 2014 to 2020 and Weston Lewis a sustainability professional at NDY.

Some of the questions this interest group discussion will explore are:

> People are attracted to the idea of 20-minute neighbourhoods. So why isn’t it top of the agenda?

> Will a much stronger focus at the neighbourhood level deliver higher sustainability, social, environmental and economic returns with reasonable outlays?

> Does it increase civic engagement?

> Are there disadvantages or unintended consequences?

> Will creating sustainable cities help withstand both climate change and unprecedented growth?

Come with an open mind and definitely be prepared for a stimulating and challenging discussion as part of Melbourne Forum’s Sustainability Leadership interest group.


This Melbourne Forum Sustainability Leadership Interest Group will bring together those interested in sharing perspectives and exploring key issues with fellow members about sustainability and ESG (environmental, social, and governance). The intimacy of the experience is enhanced when everyone who attends gets to comment and exchange ideas. The hosts are members whose role is to gently guide the group’s conversation.


Save the dates and note the themes of the upcoming conversations in the series:

October 24th: COP 27 – can the UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh bring about change?

November 7th: Economic growth and the right metrics – what is success?

Please to RSVP

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