Raising the bar on the 20-minute neighborhood model, cities around the world are embracing the appeal of the 15-minute city during the coronavirus pandemic.
Feargus O'Sullivan and Laura Bliss relate a picturesque rendering of Paris, describing the transformation in parts of the city from a car-reliant spiral of streets into a series of self-sustainable communities dedicated to the people rather than cars.
The Minimes barracks, the renovation of the Place de la Bastille, and the now-permanent "coronapiste" bike thoroughfare represent a shift toward "a potentially transformative vision for urban planners: the 15-minute city," as O'Sullivan and Bliss insist, describing an interconnected web of numerous walkable hubs within a city as "replicated, like fractals, across an entire urban expanse."
The authors' article presents the hiring of "proximity city" officials under Mayor Anne Hidalgo's leadership, most notably, Professor Carlos Moreno's rise to the position of "kind of deputy philosopher" of the 15-minute city and the appointment of Carine Rolland as Commissioner for the 15-minute city. O'Sullivan and Bliss show that Paris has doubled down on planning and implementation for a city in which residents have everything they need in close proximity. European centers from London to Barcelona to Milan have also embraced the proximity approach.
"But turning the 15-minute city into a truly global movement will require a big battle over a core urban tension: the primacy of the car," remind O'Sullivan and Bliss.
In the particularly car-reliant city of Detroit (appropriately deemed Motor City) Mayor Mike Duggan's 2016 plan to improve walkability and proximity to essential services under the 20-minute rubric has so far been a modest success. The walkability and bikeability of Portland have also been "celebrated in urbanist circles as a model of U.S. city planning," O'Sullivan and Bliss say.
"Following the unending traumas of 2020, there’s an appealing nostalgia to a renewed emphasis on neighborhoods, even if it addresses only some of the city’s modern challenges," write the pair.
Detroit as a Model for 'Building Back Better'
Cities have more experience, and examples, than they might realize when it comes to reinventing systems of investment and governance to recover from the economic ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abandoned Rural Spain Rebounds With People Fleeing Cities
COVID-19 is leading an exodus to rural areas, according to this article. The shift could hurt the economies of cities, but it also presents opportunities for younger residents and people looking for a more sustainable lifestyle.
Tourism-Based Urban Economies Will Have to Innovate to Survive the Pandemic
It is time to make bold, disruptive changes to Barcelona's economy, according to this article, by fueling innovation, sustainability, and policies to improve residents' quality of life.
Phase 1 Revealed for $20 Billion Chicago Megaproject
Plans for One Central, a proposed megadevelopment that would add 22.3 million square feet of buildings to the city of Chicago, are taking shape.
Boston Introduces 'Maximum Parking Ratios' for Large Buildings
Large buildings with uses of all kinds will be subject to Boston's new "Maximum Parking Ratios."
5 Tips for Planning Safe Post-Pandemic Events
As community events start move off-screen and become available to the public again, here are five ways organizers can ensure public health and safety.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Rowan University's Department of Geography, Planning, & Sustainability
City Of Oakland
Hillsborough County Public Schools
City of Raleigh
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.