15 Minute Cities

Guest: Greg Hall

Navigating Facts and Fiction

The Urban Myth of 15 Minute Cities


Welcome to another episode of "Some Dare Call It Conspiracy," where we unravel complex ideas and separate truth from myth in today’s cultural and political landscape. In this recent installment, we dive into the controversial implementation of ring road systems and the 15-minute city concept. We also welcome filmmaker Greg Hall to the discussion, who brings fresh perspective on societal divides and the portrayal of protests in the media.


Ring Road Realities and The 15-Minute Urban Myth

Urban Planning or Urban Prison?


The proliferation of ring road systems in cities worldwide is often couched in ideals of efficiency and emissions reduction. However, critics claim these strategies are part of a grander scheme, sometimes tying them to agendas like Agenda 2030 or Agenda 21. In our conversation, we dissect the "absolute zero" document, a non-binding set of recommendations funded by the EPSRC, and explore the skepticism surrounding real-life application. The 15-minute city concept comes under particular scrutiny - is it a model for community-oriented living, or a conspiracy to erode individual rights?


Intersections of Environmentalism and Skepticism

Conspiracy in the Air We Breathe?


Low emission zones are on the rise, local councils’ weapon against declining public health caused by pollution. Yet, they're often misrepresented in a bid to stoke fears of an overbearing government. We spoke at length about environmental movements and the delicate balance between advocating collective responsibility and preserving individual rights. It's crucial to face real environmental challenges rather than succumb to conspiratorial distractions. 


Combating Misinformation and Extremism

From Climate Denial to Fascist Ideals


Our dialogue with Greg delved not just into environmental issues but also the rise of extremism. With misinformation rampant, there's a real risk of fascistic ideology stealthily infiltrating under the guise of liberalism. We traced the line from abhorrent misrepresentations of events like drag story hours to false claims about climate lockdowns and COVID regulations. Greg Hall thoughtfully raised the alarm on how certain narratives, if left unchecked, echo harrowing tenets of fascism.


The Blurred Lines of Fact and Fantasy

The False Equivalency of Conspiracy Theories


Neil Sanders and Greg Hall urge the need for scrutiny when approaching conspiracy theories. Not all theories are created equal, and some, like flat earth and alien constructs, distract from pressing issues such as inequality and class struggles. They share insights into how focusing on fantastical narratives might serve as a tool to misdirect public sentiment from real conspiracies backed by tangible evidence, like government corruption.


Empowering Communities Through Action

From The Silver Screen to Social Engagement


Throughout the episode, Greg Hall speaks of his creative process, the inspiration behind his films, such as "The Plague," and his commitment to authenticity in depicting society’s underbelly. Drawing from hip hop culture, his films double as reflections of his political journey through mutual aid and anti-fascism. Greg insists that while conspiracy theories sometimes hold grains of truth, they often lead to a cycle of disempowerment and distraction.


Conclusion: Seeking Truth in a Post-Truth Society

In this episode of "Some Dare Call It Conspiracy," we uncover not just misinformation but also a troubling connection between climate denial, misinformation about COVID-19, and right-wing extremist ideologies. We disentangle the well-meaning urban planning initiatives from unfounded conspiracy theories becoming dangerously mainstream, highlighting the importance of community and the cautionary tale that when we lose sight of reality, we risk playing into the hands of those we rail against. Let's continue to dare to question, to look beyond the veil and strive to uncover the underlying truths of our world.



Contact Greg Hall

1. **Navigating Ring Roads**


   Urban layouts with ring roads challenge daily navigation, impacting residents' and visitors' ability to move efficiently within cities.




2. **Low Emission Zones**


   Local councils enforce low emission zones to reduce pollution and improve public health, significantly affecting urban transportation dynamics.




3. **Agenda 2030 Myths**


   Misconceptions around agenda 2030 and 21 are debunked, clarifying intentions behind these sustainability and development-focused initiatives.




4. **Environmental Initiative Skepticism**


   Skepticism towards the "absolute zero" policy document questions the government's commitment to and implementation of environmental policies.




5. **Climate Change Realities**


   Differentiating valid environmental concerns from conspiracy theories helps focus on actionable climate change solutions and shared responsibilities.




6. **15 Minute Cities Conspiracy**


   Unpacking the 15 minute cities model as a conspiracy theory highlights misconceptions about urban planning and individual freedoms.




7. **Distraction by Conspiracy**


   Fascination with outlandish conspiracies detracts from critical societal issues like inequality, corruption, and poor living conditions.




8. **Fascist Ideologies Danger**


   Recognizing how certain conspiracy theories can inadvertently support fascist concepts, undermining democracy and social justice.




9. **Misinformation Impact**


   Examining misinformation's role, from the rise of fascism to climate change denial efforts, underscores the need for critical thinking.




10. **Community Empowerment Steps**


   Building relationships and community power starts with simple acts, such as talking to neighbors and aiding the homeless.




ring road systems, low emission zones, public health, agenda 2030, agenda 21, climate change, collective responsibility, individual rights, 15 minute cities, conspiracy theories, wealth distribution, corruption, inequality, Grenfell, fascism, transgender rights, drag story hours, Oxford traffic, misinformation, COVID-19, pharmaceutical companies, climate change denial, David Fleming, "not our future", great Reset, climate gate scandal, DIY culture, grassroots filmmaking, addiction recovery, agent provocateurs.




00:00 Authenticity in hip hop shapes storytelling culture.


07:07 Artists formed collective, shot film in weeks.


10:56 Filmmaking is about manipulating imagery and sound.


20:26 Embracing improvisation in scriptwriting and filmmaking.


21:31 Praises dark themes in film, recommends short films.


31:30 Encouraged artist to engage in class-based politics.


36:40 Conspiracy theories divert from real societal issues.


41:05 Infiltration of activist group by undercover agent.


44:24 Quizzed by police about suspicious behavior. Conspiracy theories.


52:43 Pushing secret elite narrative fuels core fascism.


54:44 Misinformation and fear surrounding drag story hour.


59:14 "15-minute cities promote accessible urban amenities."


01:08:40 Doubtful nations fulfilling environmental pledges, media skepticism.


01:09:59 15-minute cities eroding collective responsibility, favoring individual rights.


01:18:04 Pandemic fears exploited to oppose green policies.


01:25:14 Filmmaker promotes climate lockdown, backed by deniers.


01:26:44 GB News faces controversies over COVID and conspiracy.