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Researchers Find That the 15-Minute City May Not be Realistic for North America – McGill

In the “15-minute city,” a concept popularized in Europe, everything a resident might need on a daily basis is a short walk or bicycle ride away. A study by Transportation Research at McGill University (TRAM) suggests, however, that this model may not be easily achieved in large North American cities such as Montreal.

Published in the Journal of Urban Mobility, the study examines travel behaviour and geospatial data from Montreal and finds, contrary to expectations, that only a small fraction of households can feasibly meet all their daily needs within 15 minutes of home using active transportation.

"Our study challenges the notion of a one-size-fits-all approach to urban planning,” says Ahmed El-Geneidy, Professor at McGill University’s School of Urban Planning. “While the 15-minute city concept has gained momentum globally, our research emphasizes the importance of locally relevant strategies that consider the diverse needs and realities of communities."


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