Episode 6: Green Urbanism is From the Devil

Is the government trying to trap you in your apartment? Are efforts to reduce traffic in highly congested cities like Toronto and London really a plan to control your entire life? 

15 minute cities sound convenient, but why do some people think they are a trap?  15 minute cities have been described online as the new climate lockdown, and protests against traffic calming measures have grown. Reactionary groups have taken up a seemingly benign urban planning initiative and claim it is an infringement of civil liberties. Des Fitzgerald from University College, Cork talks about green urbanism and 15 minute cities, and then explains the online claims about environment and urban planning, and how genuine complaints with government policy have been conflated with fears of future lockdowns.

For more information about research-based media by Axis Mundi Media visit: www.axismundi.us

For more information about public scholarship by the Institute for Religion, Media, and Civic Engagement follow us @irmceorg or go to www.irmce.org

Funding for this series has been generously provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. 

Creator: Dr. Susannah Crockford

Executive Producer: Dr. Bradley Onishi (@bradleyonishi) 

Audio Engineer: Scott Okamoto (@rsokamoto)

Production Assistance: Kari Onishi 

Dr. Susannah Crockford (@suscrockford): Ripples of the Universe: Spirituality in Sedona, Arizona

Further Reading:

Fitzgerald, Des. The Living City: Why Cities Don’t Need to Be Green to Be Great. Basic Books, 2023.

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. 2002 ed. New York: Random House, 2002.

Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan. 2023. “U.S. Cities Factsheet.” Pub. No. CSS09-06, https://css.umich.edu/publications/factsheets/built-environment/us-cities-factsheet 

Gross, Terry. “A ‘Forgotten History’ of How the U.S. Government Segregated America,” NPR, May 3, 2017, 


Uscinski, Joseph E., Karen Douglas, and Stephan Lewandowsky. “Climate Change Conspiracy Theories.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science, 1-38, 2017.

Moreno, Carlos, Zaheer Allam, Didier Chabaud, Catherine Gall, and Florent Pratlong. “Introducing the “15-Minute City”: Sustainability, resilience and place identity in future post-pandemic cities.” Smart Cities 4, no. 1 (2021): 93-111.

Silva, Marco. “15 minute cities: How they got caught in conspiracy theories,” BBC News, October 3, 2023, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-66990302 

Stay in the loop