Pros and cons of the ’15-minute city’
Jun 12, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: 8:37 pm
(Photo credit: Canva)
SALT LAKE CITY — A new urban city planning concept is making waves. The “15-minute city” is being implemented across Europe and has been cited as a climate solution for the United States. Is it a good idea?
Senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and City Journal’s senior editor Steven Malanga joins Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to discuss the “15-minute city.”
What the ’15-minute city’ entails
Malanga tells Matheson the best way to describe a ’15-minute city’ is a city made up of 15-minute neighborhoods.
“The whole idea basically is that every neighborhood now should be designed so that they all have the services you need within them,” Malanga says. “You don’t even have to go outside your neighborhood in order to find the basics of what you need.”
He says the idea came into prominence during the pandemic when cities (mostly in Europe) were restricting travel. As nice as it may sound, Malanga says there is an issue.
The problem with the ’15-minute city’
“The problem with this idea is that requires a lot of micromanaging by (the) government,” he says. “For instance, every neighborhood has all the retail services you need and so forth. I mean, what do you do if they don’t?”
“15-minute cities” are making inroads in Europe, according to Malanga, and not everyone agrees with the concept.
“There have been protests as a result,” he says. “To create this concept, you have to do certain things that not everybody agrees with. And so it’s become controversial in England and in France and other European (states).”
Division between the middle class and the poor
“If we were to go to such a 15-minute neighborhood planning concept with as much government as that would take, wouldn’t it also end up being one more place of division especially as it relates to the middle class and the poor,” Matheson says.
Malanga says this is one of the biggest objections to the concept from both conservative and liberal individuals.
“Because what they fear is the way neighborhoods are constituted that, that means, necessarily, that the poor … will be further segregated from the rest of society,” he says. “It’s going to be very tough getting all the services in certain communities because, you know, retailers will go where they think there’s a big pot of gold for them.”
Listen to the full segment below.
Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard on weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.