Exploring the 15-Minute City Concept and Its Potential for Communities of All Sizes

Policies that further the 15-minute city concept will vary depending on a municipalities’ needs and goals but can include:

eliminating food deserts
expanding government services, especially emergency ones
supporting neighborhood schools
reducing carbon emissions
rezoning street corners or high-traffic areas for commercial and cultural amenities

A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examines data from the 418 most populated urban areas in the U.S. and found that the median U.S. city resident makes 12 percent of their trips from home within a 15-minute walk. This radius could be expanded if municipalities aim for 20- to 30-minute neighborhoods (i.e., 1 to 1.5 miles of walking). Researchers also found a causal link between greater access to amenities and the willingness to walk within a 15-minute radius.