Most Canadians Oblivious to the “15-Minute City” Concept

More than three-in-five Canadians like what they have learned about the urban planning concept.

Vancouver, BC [March 31, 2023] – Only a third of Canadians are aware of the “15-minute city” concept that has been implemented in some municipalities around the world, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 33% of Canadians had heard about the “15-minute city”, while 57% had not and 9% were not sure.

The “15-minute city” is an urban planning concept in which daily necessities and services—such as work, shopping, education, health care and entertainment—can be reached through a 15-minute walk or bike ride from any point in the city.

“Awareness of the 15-minute city concept is highest in Alberta (41%), where the City of Edmonton has discussed the matter prominently in recent weeks,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion of informed residents is lower in British Columbia (37%), Ontario (36%), Quebec (32%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (29%) and Atlantic Canada (22%).”

More than three-in-five Canadians (63%) support the “15-minute city” concept, while 16% oppose it and 22% are undecided.

Canadians aged 18-to-34 are more likely to be in favour of the “15-minute city” (66%) than their counterparts aged 55 and over (60%) and aged 35-to-54 (51%).

Among Canadians who were aware of the concept before taking the survey, support for the “15-minute city” rises to 72% and opposition jumps to 23%.

Respondents to this poll were asked about the possibility of five things happening if the “15-minute city” is implemented in their communities.

Majorities of Canadians believe the “15-minute city” will lead to a reduction in the use of personal automobiles (63%) and an increase in the mental health and well-being of residents (53%).

More than two thirds of Canadians who currently drive to school or work on weekdays (68%) think the municipalities that implement the “15-minute city” concept will experience a reduction in the  use of personal automobiles.

For more than two-in-five Canadians (43%), the “15-minute city” will bring an increase in government surveillance and control, while 37% expect a reduction in personal freedoms and 27% foresee that residents will be fined if they leave their “home” districts.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from March 18 to March 20, 2023, among 1,000 Canadian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.