The 15-minute flag has been waved most enthusiastically by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Her “Ville du 1/4h” platform – “city of a quarter hour” – was a centrepiece of her re-election this year. Among Ms. Hidalgo’s ideas is a bike path on every street.

This push to rethink cities is about two things.

The first is how life can best be lived and enjoyed. What’s loved about the most successful cities is their vibrant streets and neighbourhoods. When planning began to focus on the car, and assumed that people should not live where they shopped or worked, such streets and neighbourhoods become impossible

The second is climate change. A sprawling city is very energy intensive.

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