Oxford, Bristol and Sheffield embrace 15-minute city: Is the concept a boon or a curse?

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2023-04-01 06:01:02  • 4 mins

Have you ever found yourself at the wheel, seething with anger as new bollards prevent you using a short cut?

Or swerving to keep out of a rarely used cycle lane? If so, it's a fair bet you may be experiencing the latest concept in urban planning: the 15-minute city.

This scheme, developed by French-Colombian scientist Carlos Moreno, proposes that people should be able to find all the amenities they need shops, healthcare, schools, leisure a 15-minute walk or bicycle ride from their homes.

It aims to remove the need for people to visit city centres (and even when they do it is likely only to be only on public transport), so reducing car usage and benefiting the environment.

Rat-run roads will be blocked off so that people can form community-minded urban villages.

The idea is gaining traction. Oxford, Bristol, Canterbury and Sheffield councils have all put forward plans to introduce elements of the 15-minute city, while Bath also pays lip-service to it.

King Charles's pet building project, Poundbury in Dorset, is built along 15-minute city lines, with businesses and residential property existing side by side.

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