The 15-Minute City: A Simple and Wholesome Concept for a More Livable City

The concept of 15-minute cities has been gaining traction internationally as a way to make cities more livable by ensuring that all essential services — like schools, medical care, and shops — are within a short walk or bike ride of home.[0] The concept was popularized by Franco-Colombian academic Carlos Moreno, and embraced by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo as part of her 2020 election campaign, who wanted to create 15-minute cities.[1] Her plan included banning cars from parts of the Seine, adding hundreds of miles of cycling routes and creating mini parks.[2]

However, the concept of 15-minute cities has been met with conspiracy theories, including from UK politician Nick Fletcher who called it an “international socialist concept” and claimed it would “cost us our personal freedom.”[3] Canadian clinical psychologist and climate skeptic Jordan Peterson also tweeted against it, saying “the idea that idiot tyrannical bureaucrats can decide by fiat where you’re ‘allowed’ to drive is perhaps the worst imaginable perversion of that idea.”[0]

But Carlo Ratti, an architect, engineer, and Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who directs the MIT Senseable City Lab, says that the conspiracy theorists are wrong, and that “you can’t make a real city out of self-contained enclaves — those would just be villages.”[2] The idea behind the 15-minute city is to reduce private car use, which will result in cleaner air, greener streets, and lower levels of planet-heating pollution.

The 15-minute city concept has been gaining traction as a way to create more livable cities, but it has also been met by conspiracy theories. However, the concept is rooted in making humans and the planet happier.[4] It is meant to reduce private car use and create cleaner air, greener streets, and lower levels of planet-heating pollution. The idea is to make sure that all essential services are within a short walk or bike ride of home.[5] Despite the conspiracy theories, it is clear that the 15-minute city is a simple and wholesome concept that could go a long way in improving our cities.

0. “Explained: How the concept of 15 minute cities turned into a conspiracy theory” News9 LIVE, 28 Feb. 2023,

1. “Why have 15-minute cities become ‘the hottest conspiracy theory of 2023'?” MercatorNet, 27 Feb. 2023,

2. “How '15-minute cities' turned into an international conspiracy theory – Local News 8”, 26 Feb. 2023,

3. “Don’t lock me in my neighborhood! 15-minute city hysteria sweeps the UK” POLITICO Europe, 1 Mar. 2023,

4. “Analysis | No, 15-Minute Cities Aren't a Threat to Civil Liberties” The Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2023,

5. “Sensible urban policy or sinister globalist plot? The uproar over 15 minute cities” The Irish Times, 3 Mar. 2023,

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