Sustainability First
Building the 15-Minute City

Building the 15-Minute City

Improved urban mobility and greater services accessibility for all citizens will play a fundamental role in reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

The global commitment to bring carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050 to prevent the worst effects of climate change can only be met if not only governments, but also companies and individuals commit to take action to address climate change. This requires seriously rethinking at multiple levels how we work in our companies and how we behave in our personal life. The wholescale transition towards a more sustainable world cannot be achieved without the active and willing participation of everyone. 

At Digital Blue Foam, we are committed to develop tools to help cities and companies in the building industry take action towards their climate change goals by enabling them to evaluate the areas of their projects that matter most to have direct impact towards Net Zero Emissions.

Urban Mobility and Services Accessibility

Improved urban mobility and greater services accessibility for all citizens will play a fundamental role in reducing energy use and carbon emissions. Regions with high levels of private vehicular use will have to shift to public transport, shared car use, walking and cycling. Effective government policy should lead to a substantial reduction of private car trips and private car ownership to be replaced by public transport, walking and cycling. For this to happen, it is also also important to ensure that the services that people need to access in their daily lives are accessible within a short travel distance. This invites us to reimagine possible strategies for the development of our cities and neighbourhoods to be more walkable, more green, better connected and more accessible to all citizens. One such strategy is the idea of the “15 min. City”, proposed by professor Carlos Moreno, which consists of reconceiving the city for people to have access to daily urban necessities within a 15 min. reach on foot or bike. In a “15 min City”, people have access to essential services such as: health centers, schools, libraries, local shops, amenities and nature in close proximity to where they live. 

In this context, a new development project whether it is an urban district, a master plan or even a single building can play an important role in contributing to building the 15 min. City. In order to understand what urban elements are present or missing and how accessible a project is in relation to key service facilities, we have built tools that enable planning agencies, developers, and architects to situate and visualize their projects in relation to travel distance and accessibility in the city.  

Urban mapping with isochrones

One aspect that needs to be emphasized about the “15 min. City” concept is the idea of introducing time as an essential dimension of space-planning. Traditional urban development prioritizes spacial-dimensions over time-dimensions. However, it has become increasingly important to understand how locations and people are positioned in space in relation to time. Digital Blue Foam offers a simple and easy way to make this analysis. With our tools users can quickly identify key services that fall within a 15 min walking or bicycle travel distance. This layer of information helps users evaluate quickly the strengths and weaknesses of their development and location advantages that exist in different areas of the city. 

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