"15-minute cities" concept sparks 'climate lockdown' conspiracy theories

Leave it to the conspiracy theorists to ruin even the best ideas that seem so straightforward and helpful, such as 15-minute cities. The idea behind 15-minute cities is that everything you might need would be within a short 15-minute walk or bike ride from your home, including schools, shops, parks, healthcare, recreation, and more. CNN explains:

The aim is to make cities more livable and connected, with less private car use — meaning cleaner air, greener streets and lower levels of planet-heating pollution. Around a fifth of the world's human-caused, planet-warming pollution comes from transportation, and passenger cars make up more than 40% of this.

Sounds great, right? Sign me up! Not everyone agrees, though. In fact, some conspiracy theorists believe that the folks pushing 15-minute cities are actually just trying to take away their freedoms and dictate where they can live, work, and drive their cars. According to CNN, conspiracy theorists believe that these 15-minute cities are part of an "international plot to control people's movement in the name of climate action." These conspiracy theorists have "rebranded plans to cut traffic, reduce air pollution and increase walking and cycling in cities as 'climate lockdowns.'"

To learn more about the conspiracy theories swirling around the 15-minute cities concept, and to hear interviews with folks who attended a recent disinformation-and-conspiracy-theory-laden protest in Oxford, England, check out this excellent episode of the QAnon Anonymous podcast. SoundCloud describes Episode 223: Attending the 15 Minute Cities Oxford Protest with Annie Kelly:

A very long episode out in the field! Annie Kelly headed to Oxford (UK) to attend a protest against "15 Minute Cities" and figure out how boring city planning issues became a fresh vehicle for the so-called "freedom movement" and its wide collection of attached conspiracy theories. These include fears of "climate lockdowns", a New World Order government instituted by Klaus Schwab and the WEF, Adrenochrome, Aliens, bug eating, "Britcoin" as a control mechanism, and much, much more.

If you're interested in learning more about QAnon and other conspiracy theories, the QAnon Anonymous podcast is one of my top recommendations. It's hosted by Travis View, Julian Feeld, and Jake Rockatansky, with British correspondent Annie Kelly and Canadian correspondent Liv Agar.