“The concept of a 15-minute city is one in which daily necessities, such as work, shopping, entertainment, schools and recreation are all within a 15-minute walk or cycle from your home.
Cities around the world have been pioneering measures to encourage this change in lifestyle. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have to leave the neighbourhood in which you live, but having the services and amenities you need nearby will help cut down on unnecessary journeys.
The switch to home working for many of us has highlighted the issue of long commutes, while many people are discovering – or rediscovering – the joys of local shops and businesses and the sense of community they can provide.
Cities such as Paris, Melbourne and Portland are adopting what’s called the ‘slow street’ movement, creating measures to reallocate road space to pedestrians and cyclists to limit the use of public transport and personal vehicles.
Paris is the poster child of this movement, and a delightful apartment in the heart of the French capital leads our selection of properties that capture this new spirit of city living.” Edward Lewis
Palais Royal, Paris
In terms of Paris addresses, only the Mona Lisa has a more central location. The Tuileries Garden and Comédie Française are moments away. Add to those the Seine, Place Vendôme and St Germain district and this very much epitomises the idea of the 15-minute city location. This flamboyant 19th-century apartment has been lovingly renovated throughout its 260 sq m of living space. The large living room has a running balcony and opens into an elegant mezzanine office. All three bedrooms look out over a lovely courtyard.
Chelsea Barracks, London
If we think of London in terms of Paris, then this property enjoys a prime position on the city’s Right Bank, an easy stride from Sloane Square, the King’s Road, the galleries of Pimlico Road and the foodie harvest at Daylesford Organic. The Barracks is now almost a village in itself, with a collection of townhouses, apartments and penthouses set around seven garden squares. The Garrison Club, with its spa and gym, private cinema, and a lounge and business suite with two boardrooms, means no one has to stray far for their day-to-day requirements.
AM TACHELES, Berlin
Despite its size, Berlin has a way of feeling surprisingly intimate and easy to navigate, with extensive cycle routes everywhere and a central park that feels like a second home in the summer. Located near the Brandenburg Gate in Mitte, Berlin, this development has an intriguing backstory. The area came to life in 1908 with the creation of the Friedrichstrassen Arcade, and since has inspired cultural and creative movements. It’s now part of a new urban quarter with five rippling residential buildings shaped by Herzog & de Meuron, the architects behind the Tate Modern extension. With its own spa, concierge and gardens, it’s a world to its own, though Museum Island and restaurants such as Rutz and Cookies Cream are only a walk away.
Mayfair House, London
If the 15-minute-city concept is intended to make our urban centres more like villages, then Mayfair already has an unfair advantage. Since the days of Beau Brummel, it’s held on to its character and community, and is now becoming more residential than ever. Just think: Grosvenor Square as your local park, The Wolseley for brunch, Shepherd Market for supper and the Royal Academy on your doorstep. In contrast to the terracotta Victoriana around it, Mayfair House is sleek and modern, and this penthouse apartment has the aesthetics of a superyacht: spiral staircases, white interiors, natural light and a real sense of indoor-outdoor living, with a rooftop terrace and sunken garden.
Rezidence Churchill, Vinohrady, Prague
The Czech capital’s Old Town is undisputedly beautiful, and the Vinohrady district has become a discerning choice for both locals and international visitors. Set on a hill near the centre with the castle in sight, it has spacious parks, landmarks such as the Vinohrady Theatre, and one of the best food and coffee scenes in town. This fifth-floor apartment has a prime vantage point, particularly from the curvaceous terrace, although the four bedrooms all have views. A large living space, cellar closet and two parking spaces add up to a stylish address in central Europe’s most atmospheric city.
Grosvenor Crescent, London
Defined by grand terraces of townhouses and leafy garden squares, Belgravia is one of London’s most exclusive locations. But with artisan bakeries, flower shops, and cafes in sunny mews locations, there’s a vibrancy to this classic neighbourhood. The architectural proportions of this two-bedroom duplex penthouse are exceptional – towering double-height ceilings and a spacious reception space are flooded with natural light, emphasising the contemporary finishes, natural tones and detailing. Easily within 15 minutes’ walk are the restaurants, shops and bars of the Brompton Road and Knightsbridge, along with Hyde Park and half of London’s royal addresses.
Lisbon, often described as a big little city, has become one of Europe’s leading destinations, but despite its popularity remains rooted in an authentically Portuguese lifestyle. This stylish Chiado apartment is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the Lisbon way of life. The building was completely renovated in 2019 by renowned Portuguese architect Frederico Valsassina, but still retains much of its original charm through the façades, wooden floors and some of the artwork.
The 33 sq m east-facing terrace is perfectly situated to soak up the sun, as well as magnificent views of the city and the River Tagus. The Chiado neighbourhood offers a bohemian atmosphere and bustling streets full of cafes, theatres and museums to explore.
Regent’s Crescent, London
John Nash left his mark on a good deal of London’s West End, and his creation of Regent’s Park was a pastoral vision of city life: private villas and palatial stuccoed terraces facing onto an elegant green landscape. This is the grand restoration, reimagining the sweeping crescent from the 1820s, with 68 Grade I listed apartments and nine garden villas behind the façade, with beautiful, high-ceilinged interiors that enhance the original architecture. There are tennis courts in the communal gardens, and a basement complex with spa, cinema, swimming pool and parking. And, of course, Regent Street, Marylebone and the park itself on your doorstep.