There’s an international socialist conspiracy afoot, and it wants to make it easier to walk to the shops. Fringe forces of the far left are plotting to take away our freedom to be stuck in traffic jams, to crawl along clogged ring roads and trawl the streets in search of a parking spot. The liberty of the rush-hour commute, the sanctity of the out-of-town shopping centre and the righteousness of the suburban food desert is under threat as never before. The name of this chilling global movement? The “15-minute city”.
Thing is, it is an international socialist conspiracy.
Simply put, the 15-minute city principle suggests you should have your daily needs – work, food, healthcare, education, culture and leisure – within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from where you live. It sounds pleasant enough, but in the minds of libertarian fanatics and the bedroom commentators of TikTok, it represents an unprecedented assault on personal freedoms.
It’s the “should” there. Should by who says? If it’s the aggregate outcome of the free choices of the population then that’s great. As Jane Jacobs liked to point out, livable cities are those that develop as folk develop them freely. If it’s something imposed by some tosser in an office, with zones and no movements of cars across zones, and licences and permissions required, then it’s the imposition of a plan upon the populace. A conspiracy.
Never before has a mundane theory of urbanism
It’s not mundane in the slightest. It’s at the heart of the definition of the good society. Is that good society what we do or is it where we’re told what we must do? And the answer to the second is Fuck Off, Matey.
It’s like suggesting that public parks are part of a sinister plant-worshipping plot to demolish our homes and replace them with grass.
One of those earlier “mundane” theories of urbanism did just that. Decided that the British desire for a des res with front and back garden wasn’t to be allowed. In favour of stack a prole worker flats surrounded by common and communal space and grass. Then everyone wonders why urban crime is up when there is no defensible space.
Or that public transport is the work of a satanic bus cult.
It’s not entirely uncommon for people to note that at least some proponents of “a truly integrated public transport system” are driven by those with a hatred of the freedom and mobility the car gives the average chelovek.
There are lots of good reasons to interrogate the cute logic of the 15-minute city – could it actually lead to further social segregation? Would wealthy residents, and their money, remain in the prosperous enclaves? Who is providing the services and where do they live?
Who gives a toss? Who the fuck are you to decide upon such things? We, we peeps, we get to decide these things. The society that results being the aggregation of our own freely made choices.
but the threat of our rights being curtailed by travel permits isn’t one of them.
Snigger. 90% of the left insists that no one should be barred from entry to the country by lack of a permit or passport but that we should be required to live within 15 minutes of home? Listen to yourself.
The ideas had been around since the 1920s,
Indeed, this sort of shit has. The very same movement that has had the British locked up into urban flats instead of the des res. To where we now build the smallest new properties in Europe. Actually, the new average is smaller than the old two up two downs – largely because they don’t have the back yard to put the shitter in.
One of the most notable points about this movement being that absolutely none of the people who do the planning – nor the writing about it – actually live, with their families, in the 76 m2 those new builds contain.
There are times when I really do hate the cunts in the British professional classes – especially in architecture and planning.