Dundee must look ‘back to the future’ to adapt to long-term home working


3rd November 2020

House builders and city planners are going “back to the future” to consider how Dundee can adapt to scores of people working from home.

Lockdown has shone a spotlight on “20-minute neighbourhoods” globally as fewer people are commuting into town and city centres.

The initiative means most people can access the basic services they need, such as schools, shops and health centres, within a 20-minute walk from their homes.

In Dundee, district shopping centres in Stobswell, the Hilltown and Lochee already make this possible but it has been said more needs to be done as many businesses are giving staff the option to work from home permanently.

Mark Flynn, Dundee City Council’s city development convener, said examples can be taken from the past, when people did not have easy access to cars.

“When I was growing up a lot of people didn’t have cars so there was a lot more walking, cycling and use of public transport.

“We need to remember what it used to be like when people didn’t have the option to get in the car for everything and make that fit for the future.”

Research into the 20-minute neighbourhoods concept in Australia has shown having shops and services available in communities improved local employment opportunities and boosted small businesses.

It also has health benefits through people walking and cycling more and a reduced reliance on cars improved air quality.

In this year’s programme for government, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged to work with councils to take forward the 20-minute neighbourhood approach.

To read the full article, visit The Courier Online 

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Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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