What is the 15-minute neighbourhood?

Rounding out The Propeller Dialogues series on Climate Change is a piece on “the 15-minute neighbourhood” concept. How ideal would it be if everyone could get to a destination in the neighbourhood within a quarter of an hour regardless of the means of transportation? Think of the convenience and the social and environmental impacts. Marina contends that this time frame is the right calculation that will motivate people to choose more sustainable options.  One conclusion is that it’s doable and more easily than one would think. 

For example:

  • minimally increasing the density of dwellings in sprawling, low-density suburbs
  • allowing for more modestly high buildings at community cores
  • and taking advantage of fewer cars to design narrower streets

But there are many complexities as well to be addressed which require completely rethinking how our environments are built on many levels. One conundrum is the increasing use of electric cars which will reduce carbon emissions significantly but then the popularity of which will push back on planning initiatives to create more pedestrian-friendly, destination-accessible communities.

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