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Quarter-Hour Quarters — 15-Minute City Living in China

Shaun Brodie • 07/11/2023
China Think In Report 2023
 
 
The changing world has prompted a questioning of our traditional ways of living over the last few years, with many employees globally now working remotely and spending a greater period of their time living within a few kilometers of their homes.
 
To bring about sustainable and beneficial urban development, one concept cities in China can look to further adopt and implement is the "15-minute city" concept. 
 
The 15-minute city is a fresh concept that promotes urban livability. In a nutshell, the concept requires cities to be planned in such a way whereby citizens of all ages backgrounds, and abilities in all parts of the urban area are able to gain access to their daily needs, such as lodging, employment, sustenance, health, education, culture and leisure and all be accessible within the distance of a 15-minute walk or bicycle ride.
 
When considering general urban planning and development in China, one always has to begin with policy. One overriding policy that is trying to transition China’s development to be more people-centered especially when urbanization is considered is China’s 14th Five-Year Plan and Long-Term Targets for 2035, which was published in April 2021.
 
When it comes to urban planning in China, the 15-minute city concept has been already adopted by some cities in China, such as Shanghai and Beijing. In these cities, within particular designated areas, all the core amenities and services are now within walkable/cyclable access to all citizens living in the area. Today, in these cities, walkability/ cyclability and access to all basic amenities and services for all citizens in an area is fast becoming the basis for general city planning when looking to build new urban areas or renovate/regenerate existing urban areas.

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