15 Minute City

SystemSystem Posts: 44
This discussion was created from comments split from: Coping in the Time of Covid-19 - New and Improved!.
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  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I've just been reading a piece on the 'quarter-hour city' - the idea that work, shops and leisure activities should all be available within 15 minutes of where you live. I think I am already living this future.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited May 10
    Hmm. Is that within 15 minutes' walking time (for those who can walk), or by bus, tram, or bicycle?

    I like the idea - just not sure how it might work IRL...
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I'm wondering also if it's 15 mins walking time. I would love that, as I don't drive. Even a half hour walking distance would be good for me. Asda is 20 minute walk away. The gym 30 minutes. Marks and Spencer is 40 minutes. The osteopath is over an hour to walk but mainly through woods, so nice.

    It's an hour commute by bus for me to work, and I hate that. If I drove, it would be between 10 and 20 minutes, unless traffic was very bad. I would rather a life that didn't involve regularly travelling in a motorised vehicle, but just walking. Though that is of course based on the fact that I can walk.
  • Hmm. Is that within 15 minutes' walking time (for those who can walk), or by bus, tram, or bicycle?

    I like the idea - just not sure how it might work IRL...
    An example I've seen (sorry, it's Scottish centred which reflects my reading) says "walk or cycle".
  • (My apology should also include that the 15-min idea is a fair way down after a lot of criticism of the Scottish Government for prioritising support of capitalist exploiters of the people during this emergency)
  • Might those of us with Blue Badges (to wit, disabled drivers) still be allowed to use our vehicles?

    I'd love to be able to walk, or cycle, but it's just not possible now. I guess I'm one of those useless b*ggers the government would like to be rid of...
  • I don't know the details of how these thing will work. But, if your local shops are a 15 minute walk or work a 15 min bike ride away that, by itself, doesn't stop people driving there in 5 minutes. It does mean that people who are able have an alternative to taking the car out.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited May 10
    Yes, I see what you mean. I think I was just having a brief attack of self-pity...
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    To me, an ideal society would be accessible for people to go out in wheelchairs/scooters too.
  • And, with pushchairs and toddlers running along beside them. All of which will be easier if the majority of our transport wasn't dominated by getting metal boxes down roads as fat as possible.
  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    edited May 10
    I don't know the details of how these thing will work. But, if your local shops are a 15 minute walk or work a 15 min bike ride away that, by itself, doesn't stop people driving there in 5 minutes. It does mean that people who are able have an alternative to taking the car out.

    It's a lovely idea, in theory. I work in a hospital in an expensive part of Glasgow - many of the staff (you know, domestics, admins, some of the technical/nursing/HCA etc staff in the low pay bands) will not be able to afford to live within a 15 minute walk, and since it's majority flats within the same walking radius anyone wanting a house with a garden is probably going to struggle...
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Yes, that is what I was thinking too. Unless there was a leveling of housing costs, I wouldn't be able to afford to live a fifteen minute walk from my workplace. I live in an area that is considerably cheaper.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Mr F and I were talking about this over dinner. When he was growing up in Belfast his mother could walk to a variety of shops. At about the same time I was in a suburban street becoming more remote from local services. In 1960 there was a small supermarket and local shops at the end of the street, ten years later that had dwindled to a precarious local shop and some niche businesses like lawnmower repair.

    At the moment I have two small instances of big supermarkets plus three independent 'corner' shops, and a butcher. But the economy of aggregation whereby one business attracts others is threatened by the closure of the local coffee shops, Vegan restaurant, and wine merchant.
  • I guess the 'quarter-hour city' idea may be something of a pipe-dream, and really only achievable in a small number of places.

    Making it easier to get around generally by foot, cycle, bus, tram, or whatever, may eventually come to be seen as a Good Thing to emerge from The Nightmare...
  • I suspect if there's much will to discuss the quarter-hour city more we should spin it off to a new thread. But for now, and my final comment on the idea on this thread, I put it in the category of a great idea but currently impractical (in addition to the aforementioned house prices in the vicinity of some places of work, there are issues of what if your job moves do you need to move home with all the upset that involves, what if different members of the family work in different places? and other issues). But, it's an idea worth bashing around and in the process you may shake out an interesting approach to how to address the problems. Moving in that direction would be an improvement, even if the destination can't be reached.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    I've just been reading a piece on the 'quarter-hour city' - the idea that work, shops and leisure activities should all be available within 15 minutes of where you live. I think I am already living this future.

    There are neighborhoods in Seattle like that. If you make less than a hundred thousand a month you probably can't afford to live there.
  • (My apology should also include that the 15-min idea is a fair way down after a lot of criticism of the Scottish Government for prioritising support of capitalist exploiters of the people during this emergency)

    Being within 15 minutes walk of a supermarket seems to imply rather high density housing. I currently live about 15 minutes walk from my nearest grocery store (but this is American suburbia, so I'm probably the only person who ever walks there). It's half an hour to the nearest actual supermarket (but I never walk there, because whenever I go, I buy more than I can carry.)

    I don't think I ever lived 15 minutes walk from a supermarket in the UK. There's always been something that close - a corner shop, Tesco Metro, or whatever, but never a full-on supermarket. If you expand to 15 minutes cycling, then you encompass my normal UK supermarkets (and normal method of getting there) - but my range on a bike is about a factor of 5 or so bigger than my range on foot.
  • The idea is how you should try and develop urban areas (hence, 15 minute city) to be more sustainable with a significant reduction in carbon footprints as opposed to a description of how things are. It's an idea that has yet to be implemented in any UK town, so it's hardly surprising that most people aren't 15 mins from everything they need for their daily lives - shops, schools, work etc. It's something that could be included within new developments and redevelopments to move towns in that direction - so, for example, permission for new housing developments is contingent on them being within 15 mins of facilities such as supermarkets, schools, and large business parks.
  • It's something that could be included within new developments and redevelopments to move towns in that direction - so, for example, permission for new housing developments is contingent on them being within 15 mins of facilities such as supermarkets, schools, and large business parks.

    My point is that in order to have your housing (new housing - whatever) within 15 minutes walk of a supermarket, you need to have very high density housing. Supermarkets need a large customer base in order to justify their size, and you want all those people to be about a 1km radius of the supermarket. A typical supermarket seems to require something of order 25,000 customers to support it. If we assume a planning scheme that doesn't permit competition between supermarkets (so you assume all the people in that 1km radius are captive customers of a single supermarket) that gives you a population density of 125 square meters per household. UK average is 2.4 people per household, so that's 50 square meters per person. That's pretty dense.

    (European cities are typically 150-200 square meters per person. US and Australian cities are about 4 times less dense than that.)

    If you allow the 15 minutes to be travel by bike, your required population density goes down by a factor of between 10 and 25, depending on what assumptions you make about cycling speed, which is easily achievable.
  • A typical supermarket seems to require something of order 25,000 customers to support it.

    Having given this a bit of thought, I think this is wrong - I think this is counting shopping visits rather than distinct people.

    Here's some different math. ASDA has 600 stores in the UK, and 15% market share, which implies about 16,500 people dependent on each supermarket. Roll those back in to out 1km radius, and you get 190 square metres per person, which is right around the normal mark for a European city.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I live a 20 minute walk from a big supermarket, and it is a high density housing area. A big housing estate was built here a few decades ago, with many rows of councils houses, and the supermarket was put there with it, along with a church and a pub and a post office, etc. But also the supermarket is huge, and has a huge car park, and people come from further afield. I imagine in the ideal of this 15 minute thing, shops would be smaller. Small supermarkets, bakers, butchers, greengrocers, etc. Current huge supermarkets would still have to have a much wider customer base, or they'd have to close down.

    There's also the fact that with the big name supermarkets in the UK, people can have quite rigid preferences. The supermarket near me is Asda, which suits a low income area of many council homes, but over time the council homes get sold, and not everyone will be low income, and plenty of people hold the attitude that they'd never go to Asda, so they'll go further afield to Sainsbury's, which is considered a bit more upmarket.

    I have no idea how many square metres per person where I live. Googling gives population density the other way round - number of people per square mile, or square kilometre. There must be a way to convert from one to the other, but my brain is feeling sleepy and fuzzy!
  • fineline wrote: »
    I imagine in the ideal of this 15 minute thing, shops would be smaller. Small supermarkets, bakers, butchers, greengrocers, etc. Current huge supermarkets would still have to have a much wider customer base, or they'd have to close down.

    Large supermarkets are more useful, because they carry more lines. You don't just take a small supermarket and have three times as much of everything on the shelves.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    fineline wrote: »
    I imagine in the ideal of this 15 minute thing, shops would be smaller. Small supermarkets, bakers, butchers, greengrocers, etc. Current huge supermarkets would still have to have a much wider customer base, or they'd have to close down.

    Large supermarkets are more useful, because they carry more lines. You don't just take a small supermarket and have three times as much of everything on the shelves.

    Yes, I am aware how supermarkets work. But I'm also thinking this 15 minute thing would be a bit of a simplified lifestyle anyway. Less choice, more basics. In reality, we don't generally need much of the huge amount of choice available to us. It's fun to have lots of different possible donut fillings, for instance, but quite possible to live a happy and fulfilled life without them.
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    (Wondering how long it is since I’ ve had Any Donut.... much less had to Choose the filling? Over two years maybe?)
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    It's an odd thing, choice. I am lucky to have a good local butcher who does items I wouldn't find in even a big supermarket - eg offal, tripe, ham shanks - but he never has duck, which used to be a regular meal.

    Also tubs of spreadable butter (as opposed to all those adulterated with vegetable oil) only occur in the largest branches of only some supermarkets.

    Maybe I'm terminally corrupted by forming my tastes on unlimited choice and need to go back to my parents' ethos (conditioned by Rationing) of enjoying what I can get.
  • fineline wrote: »
    But I'm also thinking this 15 minute thing would be a bit of a simplified lifestyle anyway. Less choice, more basics. In reality, we don't generally need much of the huge amount of choice available to us. It's fun to have lots of different possible donut fillings, for instance, but quite possible to live a happy and fulfilled life without them.
    The concept comes from trying to identify ways to make modern life (which for the majority means urban living) more sustainable to significantly reduce our impact on the planet. So, a simplified lifestyle with reduced consumption is certainly consistent with that.

  • So, a simplified lifestyle with reduced consumption is certainly consistent with that.

    Does reduced consumption have to mean reduced choice? You might reasonably argue that 50 different kinds of breakfast cereal was too much choice, until your preferred variety is the one that gets canned. But if all the shops go corner-shop scale, nobody can stock 50 kinds of cereal, and everyone will just stock the top few.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Different types of facilities need different population levels to support them. A country might have one supermarket for every 5000 people, and one hospital for every 100,000 people.
    So whatever distance you think corresponds to a 15-minute journey, that would mean that having everyone within that distance of a hospital requires 20 times the population density of having everyone within that distance of a supermarket.

    As an exercise in utopian city planning, maybe you'd take some number of people (?10,000?) And design your city as a set of hexagonal cells, with each having facilities for that number located in the middle of each cell. And then size the hexagons for a 15-minute radius and scale the services - retail, medical, education, recreation, office space for employment etc - to that level of population. Accepting that people will have to travel further to access higher-level facilities (hospital, theatre, museum, TV studio, whatever).

    I just have this sneaking suspicion that by the time you've made space for those facilities, cramming your 10,000 people into the surrounding residential area will give high densities. You'll find you've reinvented the high-rise city.

    As well as the obvious concerns about dystopian centralised planning that gives everyone what the government thinks they should have instead of what they choose. Is there a church of your denomination included in those basic facilities ?

  • Though, having shops within 15 minutes active travel doesn't mean all those shops need to be corner shop scale. I'm in a new town, with a flat in an area laid down by the original development corporation, so I live in an area designed on that 15 minute plan (even before it was developed), at least as far as services are concerned - there was a proportion of the population expected to take the train into Glasgow for work, though the approval of the town developing was agreement for two big employers to locate in the town which by the size of the town would be within 30 minute bike ride of anywhere in town, and 15 mins of the majority. From where I live, within 5 min walk I have two local sets of shop - one is a small parade with a "corner shop" (albeit it mid terrace), a newsagent which also sells a small range of essentials (I only tend to pop in there for milk on the way home from work, but cereals would probably be a limited choice of maybe 5), and a square of about 15 stores which includes a larger convenience store with a larger range (probably about 20 varieties of cereal) as well as a couple of take aways, pharmacy, barbers, the bank has closed but still has ATMs, and some odd shops - when originally built there would have been a baker, butcher, green grocer as well. Oh, and there's a pub (can't forget the pub!). The prices are higher than the supermarkets, but I could certainly get all I need from there - except for fresh fruit and veg - especially if the other stores pushed out of business by the supermarkets were still there. Within 15 min walk of the majority of the corporation housing (within 20 mins of the lot) there is the main shopping centre of the town (the equivalent of the High Street) with a smallish Sainsbury's (with the 50 varieties of cereal), several other food stores (greengrocer, butcher, bakery, Iceland, Farmfoods, M&S) plus clothing, books, records, and the library, ice rink and cinema with restaurants etc.

    The corporation housing is low density (we have a lot of green space around) and would have a population of about 40-50,000 and all built around a model of each neighbourhood (about 10 in the town) having a local shopping square plus smaller parades, primary school, recreational spaces, doctor and dentist, and easy access to the town centre. Since the 80s many of those facilities have closed (most doctors are now in a single central health centre) or their function changed (local shops that had been banks, greengrocers etc are now other specialist shops or offices), but that basic infrastructure is still there. Also, a lot of new housing has been added around the outskirts of the town without the same access to local services, or including larger retail plazas that are near these new developments but also near the main roads so they can bring in cars from further afield (bus services to these are abysmal). About half the town population are in these newer housing developments. It's still quite a compact town - half an hour would allow someone to cycle from one side to the other, for most people everywhere in town is within 15 min bike ride.
  • Russ wrote: »
    I just have this sneaking suspicion that by the time you've made space for those facilities, cramming your 10,000 people into the surrounding residential area will give high densities. You'll find you've reinvented the high-rise city.
    I don't think you'll need that high an average density. If we say 15 minute walk, that's about a km, possibly a bit more, so you're looking at an area of about 3-4km2 for your 10,000 people. As I just said, I live in a town of about 75,000 with an area of about 25km2, 3,000/km2 which is approximately that density for 10,000 people within a km of the centre of a neighbourhood. We have a few isolated towers, many more low rise (3-4 floors) blocks of flats, but the majority of housing is terrace and semi-detached housing with gardens, and about 1/3 of the area is public open space (including a couple of sports centres with fields, a golf course, the show ground, stadium for the local football team etc). I've been taking 2-3 mile walks that are mostly through open space, woodlands or recreation fields, from my flat without leaving the town to surrounding countryside. Another approx. 1/3 of the area of the town is commercial space and business parks.

  • Graven ImageGraven Image Shipmate
    I live in a rural area. Our small community center is within 15 minutes walk for me, but because of several very steep hills I can only walk about half way. That being said, in 10 years I have only driven the hour down a mountain to the city to hospital surgery for hubby, and to visit children. In our 15 minute walking shopping area, we have a pharmacy, medical offices, a donut shop, two hair dressers, two gyms, a nail salon, two sandwich shops, a coffee shop, a real estate office, a bank, two restaurants, a pet supply and dog groomer, a pizza place, and a family owned grocery / hardware store which if they do not have it are happy to order it for you. Yes I know liver is not a big seller but could you get me some please? I get an organic local farm food box delivered and anything else I can get on line. 6 miles by car away is, church, library, art gallery, where they also give classes, post office, bar, the senior center, nursery, and other small shops. There is also a larger branch of the local owned grocery/ hardware/ lumber yard. They have a sushi bar, and bakery along with other grocery items. One reason I have chosen to stay living here is everything is so close. During this time we are encouraged not to leave our county, I see no reason to do so, although some must drive to the city to work.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    I live within walking distance of two or three major grocery stores. I live within 15 minute biking distance of at least one more, which we go to. I work from home, so I don't need a car. I do go to church and martial arts out of that fifteen minute window but even there I take a train for 15 minutes and then walk to my martial arts class or church. And I certainly don't live in a high rise. Heck, I can't think of any high rises within a fifteen minute walk. There is a major lake within a two minute walk though. There are also multiple decent restaurants and other things nearby. I will accept I don't live in a standard place, but I definitely do not see that the 15 minute city is impossible. Apparently it's my life.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    With the population densities we have, I don't think there is a practical way to have 15-minute cities. Jobs alone are a major sticking point.
  • The density of population is a major issue. Very low density where I live as in 1 person per square km, some of you have many hundreds.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Possibly this scheme might work for single adults or couples with settled interests. But as soon as you add kids to this planned environment, things go to hell in a hurry. When Missy decides to take up baton-twirling while Junior studies the oboe and little Suzie sets her sights on Olympic Gold in gymnastics five years from now, you will be driving all over creation at odd hours every season of the year anyway.
  • The 15 minute city is my life too, market town in the south east with a working high street, two supermarkets, pubs, butcher, cafés, restaurants, clothing chains and boutiques, fancy shoe shop, children's clothes and toys, hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons, newsagents, furniture and carpet shops and craft places. There's even a bike shop and haberdashery. The latest attempt at a greengrocer has just failed, pre-Covid19, but normally a couple of market stalls and the supermarkets provide. Fish van at the market and next to the butcher's, so twice a week; the bigger supermarket has just closed the fresh fish counter as part of a major cost cutting exercise. Sadly we lost the bookshop a few years back when the owner retired, ditto the amazing art supplies, although some supplies could, if not shut by COVID19, be sourced in the recent WH Smiths.

    Behind the high street there's a sports centre, no swimming pool, although that's supposed to be coming with the redevelopment of the old junior school site, and a library. Two or three primary schools (depends if you count the next door village) and a secondary school that covers a bigger area, a couple of big sports fields and industrial areas, plus a hospital without A&E, two doctors surgeries and a few dentists are all in the main town.

    The highest residential building is 4 storeys, the tallest buildings are the church and a couple of other towers. There are five churches, six denominations: RC, CofE, Methodist, URC and Quaker meeting house, Elim Pentecostal meets in a hall. There used to be a little Plymouth Brethren church, now a house, and families, and the Elim Pentecostals had a tin tabernacle, flattened for housing years ago.

    Good bus routes and a tube station give access out and a lot of people work in London, but there's a fair amount of work in town. I can walk to the edge of town in most directions within 15 minutes, although it's 10-15 minutes walk to the tube and the town extends out in a ribbon beyond, and 20-25 minutes walk to the hospital where there's a new housing development beyond where the old ground floor wards were, now replaced by a taller modern building.

    We do get concerts and local exhibitions in the church, folk in the old workers club and occasional theatre in the gardens or hall of the big house, but need to travel for regular theatre or exhibitions.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Graven Image has referred to geography, and that must be a major factor. There is a large swathe of the Sydney metropolitan area, starting at the Eastern Suburbs beaches and heading west to the Blue Mountains, which is reasonably flat. North of the Harbour and south from the Georges River is a different story - steep valleys, narrow ridges and so forth. Where we live is quite hilly, but we can and do manage walking to 3 small local centres where there are doctors, smallish supermarkets, butchers, pharmacies and so forth. One even has a greengrocery. But go the 5 km or so from us to where Mr Curly lives and there's a different picture. There is a very small shopping centre not far from Curly Towers, and a moderately level walk. The train station is a good 1.5 km and up a very steep hill at the end. Not much further in the opposite direction is a suburb deliberately built on the sides of steep valleys.

    Then there's the variety of shops on offer. There are still shops in most centres selling women's wear, but you'd be lucky to find any men's or children's clothing outside the larger centres. Most of the other small shops that existed when I was growing up have become cafés and restaurants. No small hardware shops either.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    Why would children not work well in such a place? I have three kids. My daughter likes living in a place where in normal days she has the freedom to go home from school on her own, something she would not have if she had to depend on a car. She takes woodwork, and she may take pottery too once covid is done. My other two also have improved opportunities because of their city. And we live in one of the densest zip codes in the United States. Literally, we make the top hundred, so clearly population density is not a barrier to such an area.
  • Two men's tailoring shops here plus menswear in a branch of a chain that sells clothes for men, women and children, two hardware stores, one more for trade, but will sell to the public.

    It's not particularly flat here either. The High Street runs along a ridge with the tube station down the hill towards the valley below.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    High population density doesn't necessarily mean dystopia. I know that because I live in the most densely populated city in the Western world (21000 people/km2) and it's really quite a nice place, albeit we all live in rather small apartments. I do live in a high rise (and love it) but most Parisians don't.

    Supermarkets are quite small around my way, but given I have (counts them) 6 different ones within 10 minutes walk from my home, I can buy just about anything I want. I think we also buy our groceries in smaller quantities, given that 50% of us don't own a car. Going to work is the obvious exception to the 15 minute rule for most people, but public transport is usually quicker than car, and less trouble - another effect of the population density is that parking is a nightmare. FWIW between last year's strikes and the epidemic there's been a big uptake in cycling.
  • edited May 15
    The idea is how you should try and develop urban areas (hence, 15 minute city) to be more sustainable with a significant reduction in carbon footprints as opposed to a description of how things are. It's an idea that has yet to be implemented in any UK town...

    I don't think that's quite true. I've got a 1940s booklet somewhere called 'The London Plan' which is all about how the complex mix-up of bomb sites, old industry, good housing, bad housing etc etc was going to be sorted out as London was rebuilt. In it there are diagrams showing how local shops are going to be spread out so everyone can walk to them (no cars yet for the masses) rather than clustered in the existing ad-hoc high-street setup.

    Anyone my age or over grew up around the decaying concrete realisation of those great ideas - high-density versions like (where I came from / where I am) Tower Hamlets / Salford precinct and low-density versions like Basildon / Wythenshawe. Those remnants that didn't get messed with seem to have survived best of all, once they got old enough to be 'quirky' (G*d I hate that word).

    Here's what comes up when I lookup Mocha Parade.

    Here's the nice side.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    You can live in a quarter-hour district of many cities today if you want to. I do. I chose almost thirty years ago when it was still a rare thing to do*. It was better then, the local big supermarket was not Waitrose, though there is a decent-sized Sainsbury's Local just on the 15-minute mark and the markets. I gave up having a car at the same time although I will hire one. There are more and more flats going up in and near to town centres so more and more people can make this choice.

    *The quarter had under 500 people in it at the time, which was growth from the low point of 2, it now has over 6000 people and I expect with the current and planned building work for it to reach 10,000 in the next five years. This takes no consideration of growth of housing in other quarters which has also been substantial
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited May 15
    fineline wrote: »
    To me, an ideal society would be accessible for people to go out in wheelchairs/scooters too.

    Absolutely.

    Guide dog owners also suffer all the time from parked cars blocking the way. :confused:

  • Oh, I agree there was a lot of urban planning from the mid40s through to the 60s where the idea of having small self-contained communities where everything needed was within 15 mins walk was part of the design. As I said, I live in one of those communities, a new town rather than an urban regeneration but the philosophy was similar. My point was that that philosophy is not currently being followed in urban planning (to the extent that there is any urban planning rather than piece-meal developments) and much of the infrastructure within the older planned developments has been removed - local shops still exist but don't have the full range of food outlets that they would have originally had, doctors surgeries have been centralised into larger medical centres etc.
  • Yes; here, that infrastructure died rather than being removed, perhaps because the rise of the car meant people didn't use it to the extent that had been predicted. My parents are older, and old-fashioned at that; I remember their contempt 40 years ago for people who _drove_ to the supermarket, which probably went along with owning a freezer, microwave and video recorder. But they changed too, eventually. I wonder if we can change back.
  • Jengie Jon wrote: »
    You can live in a quarter-hour district of many cities today if you want to. I do. I chose almost thirty years ago when it was still a rare thing to do*. It was better then...

    You and me both. It was 'inner city' then, and now it's 'desirable area'. I couldn't (by factor or 4 or 5) afford to do it now.

    Here, it was 'better then', except for the car crime, regular burglary, gun crime and the resulting absence of shops and especially cash machines for (literally) miles. I didn't personally have an opinion about the prostitutes. But I do think back with some affection.
  • Around here the rents on the small local parades and squares are lower than the town centre spaces. So, those shops are occupied by small stores that in earlier times would have been in the centre. Also a lot of takeaways which deliver throughout the town. A model that works assuming people can drive to shops anywhere in town. The town centre (equivalent of High Street) is dying with empty stores everywhere, but the local shops are thriving - just not serving the local community in quite the same way as they were designed to.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    But the 15-minute city does nor have to be a small community. It is amazing how many people can be within a fifteen-minute radius of all shops if high-density housing is built in city centres.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited May 15
    1
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    But the 15-minute city does nor have to be a small community. It is amazing how many people can be within a fifteen-minute radius of all shops if high-density housing is built in city centres.

    That depends on anyone wanting to live there.

    For me cities are hell-holes, full of noise, people and threat.

    High-Density housing is a phrase which terrifies me.
  • As I said earlier, the relatively low population density of this town puts 10,000 people easily within 15min walk of a central point. If that's scaled up to the population density of the newer brick-box housing developments of mostly semi-detached housing with small gardens on the edge of town then that could easily be 20,000 people (although that housing density is achieved by not having much in the way of services other than housing - few, small play areas, no parks large enough to have a kick around, no schools or shops or churches; just houses next to houses as close together as possible while giving each a small garden an off-street parking for two cars.)

    10-15,000 people is still a relatively small community, a small town would have several such communities (though there would be some overlap). That's sort of the size of a council ward (in Scotland, I think English council wards are probably closer to 5,000 people).
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