If you’re a fan of this podcast, then you’ll no doubt be aware of our fan of smart urban design.  

For years the car guided how we designed and built our cities.  The idea was that we would alway require a car to get from place to place where we live.  Spawl became a way of life and almost official policy for development in the 905.  In recent years however, sprawl has become problematic.  We have come around to the notion that we cannot keep building over greenspace to accomodate the growth that the region is experience.

So what does that mean for our cities?  Well, for urban planner policy wonks, the notion of a city where the vital amenities of life would be within walking distance of our homes began to take hold.  Thus came the idea of the 15 minute city.  Groceries, doctors offices, small businesses, clinics etc, would all be within a 15 minute walk of one’s home.  Is this doable? We honestly don’t know.  But as a utopian goal for us collectively to build our cities around, it seemed like an interesting idea.  It’s entirely a policy wonk’s fevered dream.

Which is why we found it ridiculous to find it coming up in Op-Eds and rallies by the far right as an evil plot by the World Economic Forum.  That this was just another step in an evil move by the WEF, or George Soros or whichever boogeyman you want to substitute into the argument to put us in manageable pens and fenced off districts to limit our movements.  All of which is laughably ludicrous and not true.

However, in the world post-pandemic these conspiracy theories have a life of their own and often tend to poison discourse around good ideas.  We didn’t want that to happen to the 15 minute city.  In that spirit we reached out to former guest of the podcast Glyn Bowerman of Spacing Radio to come on to discuss how we got here, and how we can work to keep the 15 minute city from becoming a bad word in politics.

You can catch Spacing Radio here


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Nicholas Paul: sound editing.

The Quadrafonics: fantastic opening and closing tunes!

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