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Database Provider


Carlos Moreno


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Geography, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 7 minutes, 44 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, Europe


Downloadable MP4/M4V

The 15 Minute City

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  • This TED video explains the concept of the 15-minute city, a city where people can live, work, go to school, access healthcare, shop, and participate in community and cultural events all within a 15-minute walking or biking radius. 
  • Students will learn that 15-minute cities are better for the environment because they eliminate the need for daily car travel. 
  • The speaker explains that the mayor of Paris has worked hard to transform Paris into a 15-minute city. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video will challenge students to reevaluate their concept of a modern city.
  • The video transcript includes a read-along option.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The subtitles and transcript are available in 16 different languages.


  • Social studies or engineering design classes could use the guiding principles for 15-minute cities (focus on ecology, proximity to activities, solidarity with others, and community buy-in) to evaluate local communities.
  • Ethics, social studies, or health classes could discuss whether or not local residents could meet their needs in a 15-minute walking or biking radius. Students could consider the following questions:
    • Are certain neighborhoods meeting residents' needs better than others? Why?
    • What kinds of services can people access easily?
    • What kinds of services are difficult for people to access?
    • How could the 15-minute city model improve the lives of certain residents or groups of residents?
  • For more information about Paris's transformation, students can watch this video on biking in Paris.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video that compares bike-friendly cities in the Netherlands with car-centered cities in the United States, this lesson plan and activity on designing an equitable city, and this Grist video on redesigning shopping malls to be more like town squares.
Scientist Notes
This video presents a logical explanation of how cities should be organized and managed to sustain human needs and activities. It introduces the concept of smart cities and it is suitable for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
      • D2.Geo.2.9-12 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their political, cultural, and economic dynamics.
      • D2.Geo.5.9-12 Evaluate how political and economic decisions throughout time have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and regions.
      • D2.Geo.6.9-12 Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
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