Are you ready to live in a 15 minute city? You may have no choice by 2050

What is a 15 minute city?

A 15-minute city is an urban planning concept that envisions a city where residents can access all their daily needs and services within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from their homes.

This approach seeks to create more sustainable and livable urban environments by reducing reliance on private vehicles, cutting down on long commutes, and fostering vibrant, interconnected communities. In a 15-minute city, essential amenities such as schools, workplaces, grocery stores, healthcare facilities, parks, and cultural attractions are strategically located and easily accessible, promoting environmental sustainability, social cohesion, and improved quality of life for all residents. The concept places a strong emphasis on multimodal transportation, green spaces, mixed land-use planning, and community engagement to create more resilient and inclusive urban areas.

Sounds amazing huh?

Not so fast Mr. Dreamer. Let’s explore how this could be more like living in prison rather than how you are helping the planet.
Both 15-minute cities and prisons share certain similarities in terms of restricted mobility and the need for permissions to travel. In a 15-minute city, while the aim is to create walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods with easy access to essential services, the very concept implies a degree of confinement within a localized area. Residents may feel limited in their ability to freely explore beyond their immediate surroundings. Similarly, in prisons, inmates are confined within a defined space and require permission to leave, reflecting a highly controlled environment. While the intentions behind these restrictions differ greatly – sustainability and community-building in the case of 15-minute cities, and security in the case of prisons – both scenarios entail a level of confinement and necessitate permission or adherence to specific rules for movement beyond their boundaries.

Doesn’t sound so awesome anymore does it? Nope, that’s because as humans we like to travel and experience different surroundings. Many of us have family that live in other parts of the country or even the world. How fun would it be to be told, you can’t see them but once every 5 years to limit pollution.

So the next time you hear one of them environmentalist going on about living in this utopia, kindly offer them to try this out by spending a month in the county jail.. Everything you would need is  within minutes. I’d bet they have a quick change in topics.

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