In praise of the ‘15-minute city’ – the mundane planning theory terrifying conspiracists

Never before has a mundane theory of urbanism been such a lightning rod for outrage. It’s like suggesting that public parks are part of a sinister plant-worshipping plot to demolish our homes and replace them with grass. Or that public transport is the work of a satanic bus cult. Some online forums have claimed that the 15-minute city represents the first step towards an inevitable Hunger Games society, in which residents will not be allowed to leave their prescribed areas. They see it not as a route to a low-traffic, low-carbon future, but as the beginning of a slippery slope to living in an open-air prison.