Leading the Charge in the 15-Minute Communities Movement

By Yvonne Yeung | July 4, 2023

Building complete communities with complete infrastructure
The 15-Minute Communities Movement is reimagining cities and urban spaces for a better future. Yvonne Yeung, Hatch’s Principle, Practice Lead for Planning Sustainable Cities and Communities has been instrumental in driving this transformative initiative forward, and we are excited to share the progress we have made and how it affects our clients.

The essence of the 15-Minute Communities concept aligns our commitment to building complete communities with complete infrastructure, leading decarbonization and delivering transit-oriented sustainable urban development. We believe in creating vibrant, walkable neighborhoods that prioritize community connectivity, social inclusion, economic viability, and environmental responsibility.

Building 15-Minute Communities

As the Urban Land Institute's Curtis Infrastructure Fellow, Yvonne developed an insightful tool called "Building 15-Minute Communities: A Leadership Guide."

The guide empowers urban planners and city builders to design cities with a long-term vision, ensuring that development is not reliant on automobiles but instead fosters healthy, inclusive, and accessible communities that people can walk to their daily needs.

The blueprint to creating thriving green streets that increase foot traffic and trade

Read more


As society embarks on this transformative journey, we need to recognize the tremendous opportunity to shape the future of our cities, communities and urban spaces. In the next seven years, over 10 billion square feet of development will be built in North America. With the right guidance and approach, we can avoid the pitfalls of developing in auto-dependent neighborhoods and instead create sustainable, thriving, walkable communities.

There are "Five Forces of Change" that are integral to this urban planning approach. They are:

  1. Aligning development and infrastructure decisions with government initiatives
  2. Combining actions to streamline infrastructure delivery
  3. Combining actions to make infrastructure multifunctional
  4. Applying walkable catchment decisions to build 15-minute communities
  5. Combine services to bring infrastructure to life

The vision for 15-Minute Communities extends beyond a single neighborhood or city. It aims to transform entire metropolitan regions, central business districts, edge cities, suburban corridors, suburban malls, and exurbs into interconnected, walkable, and sustainable spaces. By leveraging transit networks and integrating planning functions, we can redefine expectations and create environments in which people can live, work, and thrive.


A key aspect of 15-minute Communities is the integration of transit and active-transportation infrastructure, social infrastructure and environmental considerations. Combining funding sources and enhancing synergies among energy and environmental infrastructure, creates an opportunity to establish green, decarbonized communities that benefit residents and the planet. Hatch’s global experience in delivering innovative solutions to transform communities with holistic infrastructure is a key asset for anyone looking to bring these concepts to life.

The 15-Minute Communities Movement is not just about urban planning — it is about economic development, social inclusion, and collaboration across sectors. Developers also play a pivotal role in rebuilding aging infrastructure, marketing regions as a whole, and addressing the essential needs of education, health, affordable housing, and transit accessibility.

Historic levels of government funding in the United States and Canada will help facilitate the vision for building complete communities. These stimulus programs are all under one umbrella, which means those in the construction, real estate, energy, non-profit, and community sectors can partner to secure funding and focus on the same multifunctional project (e.g., 15-minute communities).

Hatch has a long, successful history of helping clients vision, identify, design, secure financing and funding and implement community, environmental, transportation, and energy projects. Our urban solutions, environmental, energy, and community engagement and social performance teams are committed to inspiring positive change and transforming urban spaces into vibrant, sustainable, connected communities.

It won't be easy.

Building communities that enhance the well-being of residents and create a positive legacy for future generations will take time, innovation, and expertise.

Hatch is dedicated to creating communities where walking, cycling, and public transportation are not only convenient but also enjoyable experiences. After all, we live, work, and raise families in these communities. That’s why we always do our homework, always act like owners, and always deliver exceptional service.

And why we never take the easy way out.