Vancouver was 1% short of being considered a "15-Minute City"

Vancouver was 1% short of being considered a "15-Minute City"

99% of residents can get to the grocery store without a car.

Researchers at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University conducted a study and found that in May 2022, four in five (79%) residents can walk to a grocery store in 15 minutes. Almost all city residents (99%) can bicycle to the store in that time. However, 2020 statistics show that only 39% of purchases are made on foot and 10% of purchases are made by bicycle.

We are talking about the city of Vancouver, which has the highest population density among Canadian cities, 5342 people per square kilometer. It is unlikely that the concept of a "15-minute city" could be extended to the Metro Vancouver metropolitan area, which includes the suburbs. This is a European concept; American cities are too large for it and are designed with the assumption that most people have a car.

In 2020, The Globe published a comparison of Canadian cities based on accessibility to places where basic needs can be met: not only a grocery store, but also a pharmacy, school, and library. An area was considered "livable" if:

  • for each apartment building you can find a grocery store, pharmacy and public transport stop within 1 km;
  • kindergarten, elementary school and library are located within 1.5 km;
  • medical facility — within 3 km;
  • place of work — within 10 km.

In 2020, Vancouver was the clear leader in this parameter among Canadian cities, with Toronto in second place. Not surprisingly, housing in these cities is the most expensive in Canada.

City Percentage of improved neighborhoods Percentage of the population living in these neighborhoods
Vancouver 66,96 72,40
Toronto 50,58 55,75
Montreal 45,74 54,59
Quebec 31,13 28,10
Winnipeg 22,28 21,57
Saskatoon 20,75 14,67
Ottawa 19,23 20,27
Edmonton 16,28 15,04
Calgary 10,65 10,02
Halifax 9,48 9,28
Moncton 7,50 5,49
St. John's 3,49 3,45

By averaging this data, The Globe concluded that only 23.2% of urban residents live in livable neighborhoods.

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