Amid rising congestion and transport emissions, policymakers are embracing the ‘15-minute city’ model, which envisions neighbourhoods where basic needs can be met within a short walk from home. Prior research has primarily examined amenity access without exploring its relationship to behaviour. We introduce a measure of local trip behaviour using GPS data from 40 million US mobile devices, defining ‘15-minute usage’ as the proportion of consumption-related trips made within a 15-minute walk from home. Our findings show that the median resident makes only 14% of daily consumption trips locally. Differences in access to local amenities can explain 84% and 74% of the variation in 15-minute usage across and within urban areas, respectively. Historical data from New York zoning policies suggest a causal relationship between local access and 15-minute usage. However, we find a trade-off: increased local usage correlates with higher experienced segregation for low-income residents, signalling potential socio-economic challenges in achieving local living.
Abbiasov, Timur, Cate Heine, Sadegh Sabouri, Arianna Salazar-Miranda, Paolo Santi, Edward Glaeser, and Carlo Ratti. "The 15-minute city quantified using human mobility data." Nature Human Behavior (5 February 2024).