The second EPRC webinar of the 2021 was held February 3rd (12:00 – 13:00 UK) over Zoom. Dr. Martin Ferry, Senior Research Fellow of the EPRC (University of Strathclyde, UK) presented on a trending topic in regional and urban policy: “The 20-Minute Neighbourhood – A Concept for the Covid Era?”.
In his presentation, Ferry provided an overview of the concept. Under different forms, it argues that daily necessities – work, home, shops, entertainment, education and healthcare – should be within 20-minute reach on foot or by bike. This brings together a number of current policy priorities: the focus on local, place-specific initiatives, the advancement of sustainable urban mobility and active travel and pursuit of low carbon objectives.
Responses to the pandemic are drawing on the concept but, Ferry highlights that there are also important difficulties and limitations to consider. He posed the following questions that can enhance further discussion on the topic:
- How can it be mapped onto existing socio-economic structures and urban geographies, onto prosperous versus disadvantaged neighbourhoods?
- Does it undermine the scale, intensity, connectivity that drives cities?
The webinar positioned the ‘twenty-minute neighbourhood’ in current regional and urban policy debates before setting out some of its key features and exploring these questions with reference to prominent examples (e.g. Glasgow, Barcelona, Paris).
Martin Ferry is a Senior Research Fellow at EPRC. He specialises in regional economic development and urban policy, including a focus on Central and Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom. He has undertaken research on the implementation of national regional policy, Cohesion policy and urban policy, involving EU-wide evaluations and studies carried out on behalf of the European Commission and comparative research projects conducted at the behest of national authorities or as part of EPRC consortia projects.
Our next webinar will take place Wednesday February 17th, when Wolfgang Petzold of the European Committee of the Regions, and Magdalena Sapala of the European Parliamentary Research Service, will present on “How the EU budget 2021-2027 was negotiated and what it means for regions and cities”.
Future EPRC webinars will delve on topics of regional policy and development.
If you would like to attend, watch out for updates and registrations by following @eprc_eu on Twitter