Related to the idea of sustainable architecture is the concept of cities built for humans instead of cars, an idea that is growing increasingly popular in the architectural landscape. In 2021, professor Carlos Moreno’s concept of the 15-minute city won the Obel Award for architectural achievement. The 15-minute city is an urban planning model that seeks to make sure that all citizens of a city can access their daily needs within a 15-minute distance, reducing the need for cars. “As part of sustainable urban design thinking, the model helps reduce car usage and carbon emissions, reduces commute time while generating more public spaces,” surmises ArchDaily.
The push for walkable cities not only provides environmental benefits, it also provides many strictly human benefits as well. According to Strong Towns, “Car fatalities have killed far more Americans than all of our wars combined,” “A 23 minute driving commute has the same effect on happiness as a 19% reduction in income,” and “For every extra 5 minutes Atlanta residents drive each day, they are 3% more likely to be obese.”
Simply put, cities should not be designed for vehicles. Doing so takes away from their beauty, their communities, the mental health of their residents, and more.