Time to Move Away from Suburbia

the suburbs
Generic car focussed housing development.

The future is 15 minutes away and it’s high time we get there. With the climate crisis in full swing we need to rethink unsustainable lifestyles and restructure unsustainable urban design into sustainable living. The concept of the 15 minutes city has gained popularity and captures the core idea of what we need to do. Even if we don’t build 15 minute cities it is abundantly clear that we need to move away from low density high energy suburban development. In the car-dominated USA they are looking into ways to increase livability of communities by decreasing car dependency.

Some proponents of new urban developments imagine a future where cars are obsolete. It is just as feasible, however, to implement city designs that allow for vehicle use without becoming dependent on it. In Utah, plans for a new 15-minute-city include 40,000 parking spots, all inside or underground, out of view from pedestrians. This leaves space available for wider paths, outdoor dining, and greenways that enhance community. Without having to make space for cars, all city amenities are within close proximity and enjoyable to walk between.

Federal legislation is also contributing to a growing acceptance of alternatives to car-centric transportation systems. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee highway bill increases pedestrian safety provisions and increases funding to bike sharing and mass transit. Unfortunately, it falls short of addressing the heart of the issue (cars). In fact, it grants $220 billion to highway development programs. It also fails to include any provisions for metro system carbon emission targets.

Read more.

Scroll To Top