The 15-Minute City Quantified Using Mobility Data

In response to social and environmental challenges faced by cities worldwide, policymakers are embracing the "15-minute city" planning model, positing that most human needs should be met within a short walk from home. The 15-minute city's popularity stems from rising congestion, air pollution, climate change, energy consumption, sprawl, and a loss of social interactions, motivating cities to aim for more livable, people-oriented spaces. This popular vision of urban living has taken many names and shapes, such as Paris's 15-Minute City, Portland's Complete 20-Minute, Charlotte's 10-Minute neighborhoods, and Melbourne's 20-Minute neighborhoods. Despite its rising popularity, there is currently no large-scale empirical evidence that can be used to measure exactly how aligned cities and neighborhoods are with the 15-minute vision and assess the distributional implications of advancing that vision. Moreover, there are rising concerns that the decentralization of economic activity and fostering of more inward-focused communities, especially in the context of sprawling and highly segregated North American cities, could exacerbate existing social divides and limit economic efficiency by disrupting the inter-neighborhood flows of people and ideas. In this project, PIs introduce a new measure to quantify local trip behavior using Global Positioning System (GPS) data from 40 million mobile devices across the US. This study defines local usage as the share of trips made within 15 minutes of walking from home. Finally, PIs will test the hypothesis that fomenting 15-minute access and usage could increase the level of segregation in the city.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $144040
    • Contract Numbers:

      DOT 69A3552348325

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      Center for Climate-Smart Transportation

      615 N Wolfe St
      Baltimore, Maryland  United States  21205
    • Managing Organizations:

      Center for Climate-Smart Transportation

      615 N Wolfe St
      Baltimore, Maryland  United States  21205
    • Performing Organizations:

      Massachusetts Institute of Technology

      Cambridge, MA   
    • Principal Investigators:

      Ratti, Carlo

      Santi, Paolo

    • Start Date: 20231001
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01911597
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Climate-Smart Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: DOT 69A3552348325
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Mar 11 2024 9:32PM