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A Global Push for More ‘15-Minute Cities’

To combat climate change, the nonprofit group C40 Cities is partnering with a Danish firm to pilot walkable neighborhoods in five global cities.

Cyclists use bike lanes in Barcelona in 2020. The pandemic sharpened the global appetite for more walkable and bike-able neighborhoods. 

Cyclists use bike lanes in Barcelona in 2020. The pandemic sharpened the global appetite for more walkable and bike-able neighborhoods. 

Photographer: Maria Contreras Coll/Bloomberg

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of about 100 global mayors that focuses on climate change and sustainability, is partnering with alternative asset manager Nordic Real Estate Partners (NREP) to bring one of the buzziest concepts in urban planning — the “15-minute city” — to life in a handful of locations globally.

The idea is to make urban areas less dependent on cars as part of the fight against climate change. The 15-minute city framework emphasizes bringing the essentials of daily life — work, entertainment, schools and green space — within a short walk or bicycle ride from home, reducing vehicle use and dramatically cutting carbon and pollution emissions.