15-Minute Neighbourhood: Survey

The concept of a 15-minute neighbourhood is that the amenities that are most important to you are within a 15-minute walk of your home. This is a developing concept and there is little evidence of what constitutes the ‘most important amenities’ for people in different localities. So CoHSAT conducted an online survey of 450 Oxfordshire residents to identify from a list of 19 basic amenities those that matter most to them, and those that are important but less vital.

Responses showed a strong level of consistency across localities: the most frequently selected priority amenities are shown below. 

 The full survey report is available here: 15-Minute Neighbourhood Survey Report March 2022

The results will help to inform policy and assist in initiatives that make it more possible for basic amenities to be taken to people, rather than expecting people to travel to them, whether by car or expensive (and infrequent) bus. The effect would be a stronger community and less polluting car travel.

Local shop


94% of respondents rated a shop selling basics including newspapers, and/or a supermarket, as a top priority. Those who didn’t select a food shop as a priority for their neighbourhood were more likely to shop online. (Of this group, 56% do a weekly online grocery shop.)

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Green space


71% rate access to a park or other green space as a top 6 priority.

Particularly since the pandemic, having a green space within walking distance of home is important for leisure, exercise, meeting friends and general well-being – for those living in Oxford city, market towns, suburbs or rural areas, and across all ages.

Post office


59% say that a post office within walking distance is a priority. In villages, a post office was the second most frequently mentioned amenity – but 32% of those living in a small village don’t have one within walking distance. 83% of respondents living in town centres say they “have and want/use often” a post office.

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57% of residents want a GP surgery or health centre, and 48% want a pharmacy.

9% of our survey respondents don’t have a GP surgery/health centre within walking distance, 7% don’t have a pharmacy and 7% have neither.

Pub or cafe


43% prioritise a local hospitality venue: cafe/coffee shop (37%) or pub (37%).

In villages a pub is slightly higher priority than a cafe, and the opposite is true in Oxford centre and suburbs. While 93% have a pub within walking distance, 22% don’t have a cafe/coffee shop and 16% “don’t have and want”.

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Cash machine


26% select a local ATM as a top priority – only 6% chose a bank.

75% say they have an ATM within walking distance, a further 11% say they don’t have and don’t one. Reflecting changes in banking habits, those selecting a bank as a priority are likely to be aged 55+. Of the total sample, 18% say they don’t have a bank in their neighbourhood but want one.