The Value of the Local and the 15 Minute City

Progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and National Development Plan objectives in South Africa has been slow. Alternative approaches, therefore, need to be investigated that may help speed up change and integrate SDG and NDP objectives into current development processes.

A recent study investigates how this can be done at a neighbourhood scale. This draws on recent work internationally on the 15-minute city where local access to everyday needs is used to improve sustainability performance. A neighbourhood assessment tool, the Built Environment Sustainability Tool (BEST), is applied to assess a case study neighbourhood in Pretoria, South Africa. Sustainability gaps are identified and interventions proposed, refined and tested to improve the performance of the neighbourhood.

The study finds that interventions developed in this way may be used to improve sustainability and address the Sustainable Development Goals and National Development Plan objectives. It also finds that the methodology applied in the study provides a valuable alternative approach to urban planning and neighbourhood development that effectively integrates and addresses SDG and NDP objectives.

The paper has been published in the SAEE journal. Image from Urbanland.