Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Bob Kronbauer: Those '15 minute city' stickers are not what they seem

This one is a wild and wacky ride
A "15 minute city ready" sticker in Vancouver, with chain link fence background

If you were wondering about those "15 minute city ready" stickers you've been seeing around Vancouver lately, I have bad news for you: they're part of a wacky, global conspiracy theory.

The concept of a 15-minute city was first made popular by urbanist Carlos Moreno and was touted by Vancouver's now-mayor Ken Sim back in 2022 when he was campaigning for office.

Sim said that his party would plan to build a “15-minute city in neighbourhoods across our city, where people can live 90 per cent of their lives within a 15-minute walk of their front door.”

While at first glance these stickers that are popping up look to be celebrating that idea, they're actually meant to paint the concept in a dark and gruesome light.

The chain link fence in the background of the stickers gives away its intent; the fence is meant to represent the tyranny that the conspiracy loons think cities are being designed to bring about. A tiny portion of society believes that there's some sort of global plan to keep us all confined to our neighbourhoods in order to take away our freedoms (where have we heard that nonsense before?).

An even tinier portion of locals think it's a good idea to fire up their inkjet printers and make paper stickers and slap them up all over the place, in an attempt to educate the masses about this nonsensical plot they think is being brought about by the World Economic Forum.

I hope I don't need to tell you that that's frickin' bonkers and, that for hundreds of years, the entire idea of a city has been to have things nearby. A 15-minute city is effectively the perfect city, and not because some bogeyman all of a sudden came out and said so, with the intention of taking away our freedoms.

I personally moved back from the Fraser Valley to the heart of Vancouver because my family wanted to live in a city where we can easily walk to most things we need in our lives.

Call me Joseph Stalin, but I believe we should all live this way.