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What you need to know about ’15-minute cities’ — the future of sustainable urban life

Welcome to SHIFT Basics, a collection of tips, explainers, guides, and advice to keep you up to speed with mobility tech.

As the coronavirus pandemic took hold, many of us started working from and spending much more time at home. The situation has made us far more aware of how our neighborhoods are built around driving, working life, and commuting by car.

It’s got many of us asking: are our neighborhoods really as good as they can be?

Over the past year, cities around the world have experimented with low-traffic neighborhoods, with much success. But a bigger idea is afoot, rather than blocking just a few streets to cars, to encourage cycling and walking, some are lobbying for entire cities to be restructured and redesigned to better support modern sustainable living where the car isn’t the focus.

The 15-minute city

One concept that’s been gathering momentum in recent months is the “15-minute city.”

In short, the 15-minute city is an urban planning model which is designed to improve quality of life and bring communities together. It might sound like a bougie utopia, but it makes a lot of sense when you dig beneath the surface.

Credit: Wikimedia