Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Young Urbanists: The 15 Minute City Concept

December 10 @ 18:30 19:45 GMT

Through this session we aim to listen to our Young Urbanists’ thoughts and ideas on the 15 Minute City concept. 


An overview of the 15 Minute City and an example of how it can be implemented . 

The 15 Minute City aims to bring back all daily urban necessities – work, home, shops, entertainment, education and healthcare – within 15 minutes reach on foot or by bike. It appears to be going “on the right side of history”, but how do we make the “ville du quart d’heure” a reality? Portland has provided a commendable model for implementation. 

Rethinking the rhythms. Challenges and opportunities of the 15 Minutes City.

This presentation will look at the challenges and opportunities of the 15 minute city. It will first consider the role of active travel in the 15 minute city concept, focusing on initiatives in Greater Manchester, where there has been a concerted effort to enhance active travel infrastructure in the city region. Using examples from Future High Street Fund investment strategies, the presentation will then focus on the opportunities that could be brought forward for town centres who are competing with metropolitan centres to attract people and activity.

The presentation will also reflect on the spatial inequalities the concept has the potential to exacerbate, exploring the socio-economic and health implications of narrowing the travel patterns of residents in already disadvantaged areas with limited access to green spaces, services and jobs.

How we could approach the 15 Minute City concept for rural locations in anticipation of the creation of new cities? 

Most of the places we would regard as “cities” began as simple villages, expanding on links to nearby communities, and based on a communal economic purpose. It would be advantageous to consider rural settlements as the beginnings of future cities or districts within a city. 

As the 15 minute city concept is being rapidly applied to urban settlements across the globe, is there a way in which the fundamentals can be adapted for rural locations in anticipation of the creation of new cities. Although rural populations have been in decline, Covid-19 has caused many people to seek safety and a more sustainable work/life balance by moving out of existing cities and into the countryside. These traditional communities are not able to easily absorb the resultant societal transformation and lack affordable housing, education and healthcare facilities.

Timber Design Initiatives Ltd’s ongoing research is centred around the facilitation of local mass timber system manufacture within rural environments utilising the existing, renewable timber resource and community land assets. Empowered rural communities, with the ability to build their own housing and facilities as and when required, prepare a localised 15 minute city-style approach responsive to their existing infrastructure and potential future expansion as part of a larger conurbation, perhaps involving the connection of several rural communities. Kirsty uses the 15 minute city principles as justification within her proposal with Timber Design initiatives that, post-Covid-19 we should in fact begin by ‘building back rural’ (see build-back-rural.com)


Floriane Ortega is an urban planner with more than six years of experience in low carbon projects for cities and regions across the UK, Europe, Central and South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. She has worked across a wide range of sectors including climate change, local economic development, regeneration, water & sanitation and transport planning. Floriane has collaborated with several bilateral and multilateral development agencies such as UN Habitat, the Asian Development Bank, the French Development Agency and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

Hal Mellen is currently studying a postgraduate degree at the Bartlett School of Planning UCL, in pursuit of a future career as an urban designer. Prior to studying he was a former of colleague of Floriane at The Carbon Trust.

Monica Laucas is a Consultant in the Economic Development team at AECOM and a member of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel. Her work focuses on the social and economic impacts of urbanisation and major infrastructure schemes.

Simon Long is a Consultant in the Economic Development team at AECOM. Based in Manchester, Simon has gained project experience across the country, ranging from business case development to understanding the impact of infrastructure schemes.

Kirsty Watt is a recent graduate from Dundee’s Architecture and Urban Planning Masters unit, focusing on the contemporary perception of community in collaboration with Perth & Kinross Council. She is now part of the team at Timber Design Initiatives Ltd, actively working on a project to help solve the rural housing crisis in Scotland.

The session will be chaired by Julie Plichon, Inclusive Design Officer and Walking and Cycling Project Manager,London Borough of Islington and Young Urbanist Steering Committee Member.


Where: Zoom – the link will be sent 24 hours prior to the start of the event to those registered.

If you have any queries before then, please contact Olga Gaitani on og@academyofurbanism.org.uk. 

Online Session