15-minute cities are a trending urban planning topic that has long been discussed academically and is now slowly being implemented across existing cities in Europe. But now, the first 15-minute city is being designed and built from scratch in Utah. Dubbed “The Point”, the new 600-acre city will be located just outside Salt Lake City, and will be a redeveloped former state prison site where new jobs, housing, public spaces, amenities, and transportation will serve almost 15,000 people in an attempt to explore a prototype for how innovative urban planning concepts can improve the public health and wellness.

While Paris was the first to introduce and take actionable steps toward creating a 15-minute city, its planning principles have quickly caught on in other parts of the globe. In Europe, the goal of redesigning cities in this manner is to make daily tasks more accessible by walking or bike rides, but this isn’t the case in US cities- largely due to the amount of urban sprawl and the resulting reliance on cars to get from place to place. While there have been attempts to become less car-dependent, with projects including a new development underway in Arizona which claims to be a completely car-free zone, The Point in Utah acknowledges that residents will still need access to cars- but just less frequently than in other cities. Instead, they’ve coined the term “one-car community” where they expect families to only need one vehicle per household.

The Point’s vision is to create an iconic community that focuses on healthy living while also creating new jobs and housing that will allow residents to live, work, and play in the same area. By designing for ease of mobility, creating an 18-hour district where there are things to do for a majority of the day, and the right combination of new residential types, office space, and supporting infrastructure, the goal is to be a pioneer in how new cities can be built across the United States in the future.

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