Defining the 15-minute city

Defining the 15-minute city

Can the Pike District be a 15-minute city? Should the Pike District be a 15-minute city?

From CNU

The 15-minute city is defined by its ability to provide access to all human needs by walking or bicycling for a quarter hour or less. Transit should be provided within the 15-minute city, but cannot accurately define its scale.

When an urban area achieves the 15-minute city goal, several positive implications follow:

  • It is socioeconomically equitable—those without a car could easily access all their needs.
  • The area is small enough that measuring diversity, in balance, produces a useful indicator. In larger geographic areas, diversity has less meaning because many human needs could be too distant to be easily accessible anyway.
  • The need for transportation is minimized—and therefore the reduction in fuel mitigates global warming.
  • Human-powered transportation, which improves health and well-being, is promoted.
  • The convenient location of services, accessible by multiple modes, saves time and improves quality of life.

The 15-minute city implies three levels of sheds:

  1. The 5-minute walk shed, a quarter-mile from center to edge, indicating the individual neighborhood. Each quarter-mile shed must have ordinary daily needs, a range of housing types, and a center (generally a public square or main street with minimal mixed use). Small businesses, at least, are located in the neighborhood.
  2. A 15-minute walk shed, three-quarters of a mile from center to edge, is the maximum distance that most people are going to walk. Within this shed should be located a full mix of uses, including a grocery store, pharmacy, general merchandise, and public schools. Larger parks that serve multiple neighborhoods will be found here, in addition to larger employers—but not necessarily the region’s biggest. The 15-minute walk shed provides access to regional transit—at least one station. This shed is similar in size to a 5-minute bicycle shed, and the bicycle can be used to transport purchased goods. The shed provides for weekly and daily needs. .
  3. The 15-minute bicycle shed would give access to major cultural, medical, and higher education facilities. Regional parks and major employers can be found here. Access to intercity transit may be available. This shed provides access to special needs. The total extent of the 15-minute city is therefore defined by the three-mile radius of the 15-minute bike ride.

Read the rest of the article here and learn more about the 15-minute city.

Amy Ginsburg


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