Are 15 Minutes Cities a real or unattainable idea?
The pandemic drastically changed how we utilize our cities. Ideally, we would like to surround ourselves with all essentials. This creates a ‘safe circle’, which both limits the spread of the virus, as well as provides convenience in times where travel becomes more risky and difficult.
However, as we delve into this topic, we can see that the concept became popular even before COVID-19. Paris city, and specifically its mayor, Anne Hidalgo was one of the first to propose this concept.
The 15 Minute City builds a cyclist and pedestrian friendly neighborhood. The ideal solution is a city in which work, home, education, healthcare and so on are all within a 15 minute reach. In essence this is about creating accessibility by walking or cycling to all locations of people’s daily needs and visits. It is a progressive and innovative idea, which can enhance the liveability of our cities.
The future implementation of the idea can reconnect people with their local areas and decentralize the life of the city and its services. Encouraging 15 Minute Cities will provide greater access for those who are unable to travel, help support local businesses, and provide a greater feeling of neighborhood connectivity.
15 Minute Cities would have a positive impact in most areas of life we care about:
This concept promotes cycling and walking instead of using cars. Undeniably, this is a great way to reduce CO2 emission. It is a hot topic that has become increasingly important lately.
Staying in your suburb supports the economy. Residents are shopping in their local stores, in this way contributing to local businesses. That is really empowering for small businesses which are located on quiet streets. Rent prices in the city centres shouldl decline and suburban rent will increase creating fair competition.
From a social perspective, 15 Minutes Cities also makes a positive impact. Having the necessary supplies around you allows you to stay in your neighborhood and build communities. People start to get to know their neighbors and join similar events in the area. This helps to provide a feeling of connectedness to where you live, and addresses social issues of loneliness and isolation.
Local transport is more efficient. 15 Minute Cities require less commuting time, allowing people to be more productive and have more free time. People use less buses/ cars because they do not have to travel as far. Fewer traffic jams make journeys better, safer and cheaper.
Staying within your local communities also provides safer cities. When a sense of community is developed, and locals know one another, you have more people who look out for you. Additionally, having people you know live close by is beneficial in cases when something goes wrong and you require help.
Could your zone be a 15 Minutes City?