The ‘Five Minute City’: A New Way to Imagine a Better Vancouver

Imagine a city where everything you need to do is just a short walk away.

By Scot Hein and Colleen Hardwick Yesterday |

What kind of city do Vancouverites want? We envision a Vancouver transformed to be the “Five Minute City.”

By this we mean a city of neighbourhoods, each home to locally owned shops and services, public amenities including parks, schools, community centres, childcare facilities, seniors centres and libraries. Neighbourhoods would include a mix of densities including rental or below-market housing units, more closely aligned with incomes, and all within a five minute walk of shopping, work, schools.

How do we achieve this fairly and democratically? That raises another question. Given that housing and transportation have emerged as top contentious issues in the current Vancouver municipal election campaign, how can we renew the city’s official community plan and radically improve the urban design process for the benefit of all Vancouverites?

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