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The 15-Minute City Concept: A Deeper Insight into Its Feasibility and Impact

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Zara Nwosu
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The 15-Minute City Concept: A Deeper Insight into Its Feasibility and Impact

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The concept of the 15-minute city has been a topic of much debate in urban planning and environmental circles. This model proposes a city where residents can access their basic needs within a 15-minute walk or cycle, potentially reducing carbon footprints and promoting healthier lifestyles. However, not everyone is convinced of its feasibility or effectiveness. Two articles, one by Bertaud and another by Glaeser, critically analyze the concept, shedding light on potential drawbacks and questioning its viability. Furthermore, controversy and misinformation surrounding the idea have influenced transport policies, causing mixed reactions in the public sphere.

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A Critical Examination of the 15-Minute City Concept

In his article, Bertaud provides a critical perspective on the 15-minute city, highlighting potential limitations. While the idea sounds appealing, its implementation may not be as straightforward as it seems. Similarly, Glaeser argues that cities should focus on providing opportunities for everyone, suggesting that the 15-minute city may not be the best solution for all urban areas.

Environmental Benefits and Socioeconomic Risks

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An article published on Nature.com uses large-scale GPS mobility data to study the feasibility and societal impact of the 15-minute city model across US urban areas. It emphasizes the environmental benefits of localized living, such as reduced carbon emissions. However, it also warns of the risk of intensifying socioeconomic segregation, a significant concern that urban planners must address in their implementation strategies.

The Controversy Surrounding the 15-Minute City Concept

According to a page on Twinfm.com, there's a considerable amount of confusion and misinformation surrounding the 15-minute city concept. Conspiracy theories are characterizing it as an attempt to assault personal freedoms, leading to misconceptions, especially in relation to low traffic neighborhoods (LTNs). These misconceptions have influenced England's transport policy, leading to concerns about the government's plan for drivers. Urban planner Carlos Moreno has voiced concerns about the misrepresentation of the 15-minute city concept.

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Measuring Proximity in X-Minute Cities

In a peer-reviewed article published on MDPI.com, the 'x-minute city' concept is discussed, focusing on its practical applicability in urban policies and plans. The study reviews 38 articles to identify measurement models and variables required for measuring proximity within the framework of x-minute cities. The findings underscore the deficiencies in current proximity measurement approaches and suggest recommendations for more comprehensive assessments.

Global Adoption and Local Challenges

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The 15-minute city concept has found application in various cities around the world, as discussed on Independent.com.mt. It aims to prioritize people over cars and reduce the carbon footprint by encouraging self-sufficient communities. However, challenges persist, such as the impact of supermarkets on private car use and the environment, particularly in areas like Malta. The benefits and challenges of implementing the concept need careful consideration to ensure it can deliver on its promise without exacerbating socioeconomic disparities.

Conclusion

The 15-minute city is an ambitious concept that aims to transform urban living, making it more sustainable and convenient. However, it's clear that the idea is not without its critics and controversies. As cities around the world grapple with the challenges of urbanization, climate change, and social inequality, the debate around the 15-minute city and how it should be implemented will continue. As with any urban planning strategy, it's essential to consider local contexts and the potential for unintended consequences. The 15-minute city may not be a silver bullet solution, but it offers a valuable framework for thinking about sustainable urban living.

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