“Originally unveiled in 2016, the model aims to improve the quality of life of those living within dense urban areas by reducing the need to drive.

Fletcher’s remarks in Parliament were picked up on British channel GB News, which described 15-minute cities as “deeply illiberal” and “unBritish”. Architects and academics were highly critical of the interpretation of 15-minute cities. Dezeen opinion-writer Philip Oldfield, who is head of the school of the built environment at UNSW Sydney, tweeted: “Last year, if I had to guess what would be the batshit conspiracy theory of 2023, I would have never guessed it would be ‘town planning where you can walk to the shops’.”

“What’s wild is the ’15-minute city’ is literally about choice,” he continued. “The choice that you don’t have to drive to the out of town shopping centre, you can walk/bike to local shops too. Dude, no one is going to stop you driving to Costco.”

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