Defining the 15-minute city

This resource discusses the 15-minute city, a concept that is gaining importance in relation to urban planning and design. This article explains that the 15-minute city involves residents being able to access all necessary amenities by walking or cycling for 15 minutes.

Date added 22 February 2021
Last updated 24 February 2021

This resource explains that the 15-minute city is a very interesting concept because it requires planning at a small scale, but one that goes beyond neighbourhoods, thus, requiring partnerships and collaboration between place leaders. This way, amenities can be accessed by people in different neighbourhoods, if these are tactically placed within 15-minutes of them all.

This article also explains how most cities were originally designed based on this rule, but that they were later changed as a response to an increase in car ownership and the easiness of longer journeys. Such places might find it easier to go back to this model, as space for these amenities might still be in place, if not in use. Newer settlements, however, might encounter a greater challenge. In any case, the article outlines the benefits of such design, including, for example the reduction of emissions or improved public health.

As explained here, another debate is which amenities these are. This article outlines three scenarios, from 5- and 15-minute walk, to 15-minute bike ride, and the diversity of amenities found within bigger radii: from essential businesses, to cultural, health, and educational facilities.

This doesn’t come without challenges and often involves broader considerations. For example, it is not just about the ability to walk or cycle, but also about the pleasantness of the journey. This, and other aspects, have to be considered in the design of the 15-minute city.