The 15-minute city Common Good: dystopian conspiracy, or climate-friendly paradise? “Free thinkers” in Trouble, Abandon Individualism Commands The Pope

The Line, Saudi Arabia

The Line, Saudi Arabia concept art… maybe not what Oxfordshire Country Council has in mindCourtesy of Neom

The Roman Catholic Church, with all its ramifications throughout the world, forms one vast organization under the control, and designed to serve the interests, of the papal see. Its millions of communicants, in every country on the globe, are instructed to hold themselves as bound in allegiance to the pope. Whatever their nationality or their government, they are to regard the authority of the church as above all other. Though they may take the oath pledging their loyalty to the state, yet back of this lies the vow of obedience to Rome, absolving them from every pledge inimical to her interests. GC 580.2

15-minute city illustration


TikTok conspiracy theorists say that the ‘15-minute city agenda’ is an attempt to usher in ‘climate lockdowns’ – supporters say it can help save a dying planet

3January 2023

TextThom Waite

It’s no secret that radical action is required if we want to meet our climate targets on schedule, and reach net zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. For some, this presents itself as a challenge: how can we change the way we live, work, and travel to undo the damage of mass consumption and build a better planet? For some “free thinkers”, though, climate action represents an existential threat to our personal freedom, via schemes initiated by a shadowy global elite.

The latest of these conspiracy theories? The “15-minute city agenda”: a secret plan to lock us up inside small neighbourhoods, where everything we need is within a 15-minute walk and we’re not allowed to leave. According to right-wing conspiracists, the foundations have already been laid in Oxford, which, they say, is planning to impose “climate lockdowns” on residents by 2024.

One of these conspiracy theorists is far-right commentator Katie Hopkins – before hearing about 15-minute cities, she hadn’t met a strictly-enforced border she didn’t like – who recently released a fearmongering video about Oxford’s plans. “This is not by chance,” she says, suggesting that the 15-minute city is part of a vast governmental trend of “coercive control”. Elsewhere, she draws parallels with COVID regulations, which she’s previously called “the greatest hoax in human history”.

Since Hopkins’ rant was published (and despite Oxfordshire Country Council dispelling the rumours), misinformation about the 15-minute city has been spreading on platforms such as Twitter and TikTok. Below, we take a look at what the 15-minute city idea is all about – is it really something to be scared of, or could it be the path to a more sustainable future?

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Essentially, a 15-minute city is just what it sounds like: a decentralised residential environment where everything you could need – work, food, health, education, and cultural facilities – is within a quarter of an hour by foot or by bike. That doesn’t mean you have to stay in your neighbourhood, but incentivises a return to “local living”, where commute times are shorter, people are less dependent on cars and, in theory, communities are tighter-knit.


The 15-minute city isn’t a brand new idea. As an urban planning concept, it’s been around for some time, spearheaded by the award-winning scientist Carlos Moreno, who unveiled his 15-minute city model in 2016. It gained popularity when the Socialist politician and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo made it a key element of her successful re-election campaign in 2020, promising more walkable communities with dedicated grocery shops, parks, cafes, health and sport facilities, workplaces, and schools within each arrondissement.

Similarly, the practice of “hyper proximity” for city dwellers has been introduced in cities such as Melbourne, Copenhagen, and Utrecht. Some even say that London was a 15-minute city in many respects pre-COVID (barring travel for work and some leisure activities), and the borough of Newham is actively pursuing 15-minute neighbourhoods.

Then, there’s large-scale, experimental projects like Saudi Arabia’s The Line, a planned, mirrored mega-city (surveillance) that’s supposed to run 170 kilometres long (but only 200 metres wide) through the desert. Set to accommodate 9 million people, The Line will apparently run on 100 per cent renewable energy, and all facilities will be accessible by a five-minute walk. Obviously, this is taking the concept to a whole new level, and it isn’t what most people are talking about when they talk about walkable cities.Via World Economic Forum

These records of the past clearly reveal the enmity of Rome toward the true Sabbath and its defenders, and the means which she employs to honor the institution of her creating. The word of God teaches that these scenes are to be repeated as Roman Catholics and Protestants shall unite for the exaltation of the Sunday.
The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns shall cause “the earth and them which dwell therein” to worship the papacy—there symbolized by the beast “like unto a leopard.” The beast with two horns is also to say “to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;” and, furthermore, it is to command all, “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” to receive the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:11-16. It has been shown that the United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance, which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of her supremacy. But in this homage to the papacy the United States will not be alone. The influence of Rome in the countries that once acknowledged her dominion is still far from being destroyed. And prophecy foretells a restoration of her power. “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Verse 3. The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798. After this, says the prophet, “his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Paul states plainly that the “man of sin” will continue until the second advent. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. To the very close of time he will carry forward the work of deception. And the revelator declares, also referring to the papacy: “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life.” Revelation 13:8. In both the Old and the New World, the papacy will receive homage in the honor paid to the Sunday institution, that rests solely upon the authority of the Roman Church.
Since the middle of the nineteenth century, students of prophecy in the United States have presented this testimony to the world. In the events now taking place is seen a rapid advance toward the fulfillment of the prediction. With Protestant teachers there is the same claim of divine authority for Sundaykeeping, and the same lack of Scriptural evidence, as with the papal leaders who fabricated miracles to supply the place of a command from God. The assertion that God’s judgments are visited upon men for their violation of the Sunday-sabbath, will be repeated; already it is beginning to be urged. And a movement to enforce Sunday observance is fast gaining ground.
Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?
The Roman Catholic Church, with all its ramifications throughout the world, forms one vast organization under the control, and designed to serve the interests, of the papal see. Its millions of communicants, in every country on the globe, are instructed to hold themselves as bound in allegiance to the pope. Whatever their nationality or their government, they are to regard the authority of the church as above all other. Though they may take the oath pledging their loyalty to the state, yet back of this lies the vow of obedience to Rome, absolving them from every pledge inimical to her interests.
History testifies of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations; and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. In the year 1204, Pope Innocent III extracted from Peter II, king of Arragon, the following extraordinary oath: “I, Peter, king of Arragonians, profess and promise to be ever faithful and obedient to my lord, Pope Innocent, to his Catholic successors, and the Roman Church, and faithfully to preserve my kingdom in his obedience, defending the Catholic faith, and persecuting heretical pravity.”—John Dowling, The History of Romanism, b. 5, ch. 6, sec. 55. This is in harmony with the claims regarding the power of the Roman pontiff “that it is lawful for him to depose emperors” and “that he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to unrighteous rulers.”—Mosheim, b. 3, cent. 11, pt. 2, ch. 2, sec. 9, note 17. (See also Appendix note for page 447.)
And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.
God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution. GC 578.2 – GC 581.2

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It’s generally good practice to assume the exact opposite of what Katie Hopkins says is true. In other words, no, Oxford is not planning to cut the city into six zones and lock residents in with electronic gates (surveillance). Following a wave of abuse against staff and councillors last month, Oxfordshire Country Council put out a statement explaining that the proposal is actually about traffic filters, which will fine drivers using certain roads during peak hours to help develop a “more sustainable, reliable and inclusive transport system”. People will be able to walk, cycle, or ride public transport across the city at all times.

There are proposals for 15-minute neighbourhoods in Oxford, but these are separate from the traffic filters and not intended to restrict movement. “The 15-minute neighbourhoods proposal aims to ensure that every resident has all the essentials (shops, healthcare, parks) within a 15-minute walk of their home,” the statement clarifies. “They aim to support and add services, not restrict them.”

The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent. "Faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy" (Lenfant, volume 1, page 516), she declares. Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ? GC 571.2 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
2 Peter:2:17,19-20,22


“I’m going to connect some dots and I’m going to present you with some information,” begins one video from a TikTok psychic and podcaster. “What you do with this information is up to you.” This pretty much sums up the approach of all online conspiracy theorists: presenting loaded facts and information, and encouraging you, the viewer, to piece them together in your mind. It makes the viewer feel smart, and the creator gets to avoid any explicit claims that might get them in trouble.

Unsurprisingly, those “exposing” the “15-minute city agenda” online use language that gained traction during the pandemic to portray it as part of a conspiracy run by global elites to control the masses (see: references to the “climate mob” and the shadowy “people running the world”). At the end of the day, though, the narrative isn’t much different from the COVID conspiracies we’re all too familiar with, and is built to appeal to the same demographic.

Still buying into the “coercive control” story? You’re not alone; many people have taken to social media to share their fears about these “open air prisons”. Don’t worry, though, the TikTokers have some solutions. Namely, “do your own research” (AKA type conspiracy keywords into Google) and buy the cryptocurrencies they recommend. Not sure how that helps, but you do you!

There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. Isaiah:57:21, For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.Jeremiah:8:11-12


Cars make up a disproportionate amount of the emissions on our roads, so it’s pretty obvious why any scheme designed to cut down their usage would be attractive if you’re worried about climate change. That’s not to mention the obvious health benefits of walking or cycling, and the time save of cutting down the commute.

Moreno’s 15-minute city model is also based on increased diversity – meaning both more multicultural neighbourhoods, and more development of mixed-use spaces designed to get people out of the house and more involved in the community. All of this, he says, is enabled by the increasingly online nature of our lives, which make working and meeting remotely easier for many people.


Needless to say, the 15-minute city isn’t without some valid criticisms. For one, existing experiments have mostly focused on Europe, where many cities were designed for the convenience of people rather than cars (since cars hadn’t been invented yet). Thanks to years of car-based development, of course, making all of these cities compatible with the 15-minute model is a lofty goal, but this issue is significantly worse in places like the US, where some cities have been built from the ground up with drivers in mind.

There’s also a concern that slicing cities up into smaller segments could encourage less mixing between different neighbourhoods, and exacerbate existing segregation along lines such as race or class. Others have criticised the lack of focus on accessibility, and the erasure of people who can’t walk or cycle everywhere they need to be.

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Author: Adventist Angels Watchman Radio

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