15-20 Minute City: Warsaw & Edinburgh

I have concurrent 15-20 minute city surveys out right now both for inhabitants of the city of Warsaw and the city of Edinburgh.

It’s really interesting to note thus far (there are questions where respondents are able to leave comments as well), that generally, Warszawa residents are not so critical of the idea, with most responding that either they experience this at their local neighborhood level or would like to.

Responses from Edinburgh vary on a much wider spectrum with many respondents thus far saying they do experience this or they would really like to, as well as some commenting that they don’t like the idea of having their movement restricted.

Note on ‘Freedom of Movement

It’s important to note that nobody is trying to restrict people’s freedom of movement and that a 15-20 minute city or neighborhood lifestyle simply means that instead of having to schlepp 45 minutes in a car across town for your kid’s doctor appointment, or 30 minutes the other way for some other amenity, that generally all the ‘basic functions’ are available in your local neighborhood.

I have worked in very marginalized inner-city communities in the USA that were essentially food deserts, without a grocery store, pharmacy, clinic or many other basic amenities for blocks upon blocks.

It’s irrational and cruel to assert that people should not have basic services available to them in their neighborhood, while ‘well-to-do’ areas have a wealth of choice.

It’s also odd to not perceive the benefit this type of accessibility provides fellow community members who might be elderly, mobility impaired, disabled or for some other reason, rather dependent on local services.

Developing this concept with spatial equity and community needs in mind is crucial.

Looking forward to my first remote ‘Mobility Thought Lab‘ with residents of Edinburgh on Monday!