15 minute cities: burning to the ground

Flat White

Flat White


Flat White

29 March 2023

8:00 AM

Are this century’s ideological peasants finally revolting? It certainly seems that way after residents set fire to road block ‘planters’ which had been erected to prevent them from driving freely around their community.


UK neighbourhoods are being used as test cases for the 15 minute city plan that is, after a fashion and a few intermediary thought bubbles, the child of United Nations Sustainability Goals and World Economic Forum collaborations.

Others might describe them as open air prisons where ‘global citizens’ are being confined to small areas to ‘save the planet’ under threat of being fined.

Not everyone is impressed by the experiment, with residents in Rochdale destroying the barriers which some are trying to pass off as ‘traffic control systems’ rather than sinister infringements on basic freedom of movement. Others have found themselves prevented from travelling to work by unofficial and legally powerless self-appointed enforcers who refuse to allow the movement of traffic. Surely that is an offence? It is like being ruled by a mob.

The unavoidable truth is that people are already free to leave their cars at home if they want to embrace the de-industrialised lifestyle, but they choose not to. Why? Their free choice is to drive and thus, as with all socialist policies, government has decided it must use force to guarantee what it sees as good social behaviour. Get used to it. We are going to be seeing a lot more of this behavioural intervention.

You can find plenty of 15 minute city defenders on social media insisting that this is just a ‘suggestion’ or some sort of voluntary adjustment to the way people move through their cities. Far from it. In Oxford, which is another ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’, similar blockades were being manned by bright-haired randoms. Everywhere 15 minute cities are put in place, the working class freak out.

For a long time, residents in these areas either didn’t realise what was going on or thought these mutterings and endless surveys put out by their local council were some kind of joke. After all, Net Zero policies read as fanatical madness. Now that Woke councils are trying to put physical barriers up to enforce ‘planet saving’ ideology, residents are reacting loudly and, in some cases, destructively.

Needless to say, the 15 minute city is being delayed for ‘further consultation’.

No doubt community feedback will involve something along the lines of ‘bugger off’.


When it comes down to it, the entire concept is one created from a place of extreme privilege. Sure, university students and academics in their prime with nothing better to do can insist that ‘everyone’ use public transport, walk, or cycle – but what happens to the old? The young? The injured? The pregnant? The parents with kids? Women at night? The business owners? The couriers moving stock around? What about if it rains? When it’s cold? In response they say, oh well those people can use their cars. And what does that mean? A new class of privilege that are allowed to use vehicles? We are about as far from equality as you can get.

There are a million reasons why society ditched walking for the superior transport of cars and when all those cars are gone, I guarantee the 15 minute enthusiasts will get bored of hiking everywhere and bail out to a normal city. There’s a big difference between choosing to walk and having to do it. I know, because I don’t have a car and I clock 60km a week on foot.

The language being used by councils is fascinating. Somewhere in the planning process, ‘road barriers’ decided to self-identify as ‘traffic filters’ – as if they were simply filtering the grit out of a cup of coffee. That is how they see your private vehicle … as grit to be removed from the transport system.

It’s a bit like calling the lock on your prison cell a ‘comforting safety device’.

And if you think this is just European nonsense, you’d be wrong. Plenty of Australian cities have signed up for this tyrannical idiocy including Melbourne (no surprise), and Coffs Harbour. 15 minutes cities are even more ludicrous in Australia, given the large distances commuters travel to get to work every day, partly due to the cost of housing locking people out of urban centres. It is nothing for workers in Sydney to travel 40 minutes or an hour.

We don’t need ‘traffic filters’ to fix that problem, we need the Labor Party to stop dumping 400,000 people a year into our country. That is the only way people will be able to live closer to their places of work. Even so, that is no excuse to force people to remain within shouting distance of their houses.

You do have to appreciate the comment in the Daily Mail:

‘Conspiracy theorists believe the urban planning idea is instead a dark idea from the world’s elite to control society.’

What else would you call issuing residents with permits to travel, fining them for travelling too much, and blocking off public roads because of a policy born in the United Nations? Is that not a dark idea created by an unelected socialist bureaucracy?

If people want to live in 15 minute cities, they can migrate to country towns. Why don’t they? Because the vast majority want to enjoy the bustle and services of large centres. As real urban planners know (back when that was a skilled profession), you cannot sever the arteries of city or mince it up into little pieces without killing it. Ideally, you want as many people to travel as quickly and efficiently around the city as possible, distributing money, labour, and services.

Nick Fletcher, a Tory MP, was right to warn people that 15 minute cities (politely called, ‘Active Neighbourhoods’) were going to infringe upon the freedom of individual citizens. That is their entire purpose – to dictate how people travel.

The interesting thing is how many people questioned say they ‘broadly support the idea’ but ‘not how everything was closed all at once’. There seems to be an inability to grasp what these eco policies look like when they transition from paper to pavement – a fundamental disconnect between wanting to feel virtuous and the cold reality of closed roads and authoritarian control.

There are no half measures in the climate wars. Freedom ceded is freedom lost and the champions of 15 minute cities want you to give up everything. Your cars. Your food. Your speech. Your energy. Your children. Everything. They’d rather you didn’t exist at all so they can bank the carbon credit.

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Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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