Cities with a “15-Minute-Plan” for the post-Covid
There is no doubt that urban residents who are going to better resist to the consequences of the lockdown are the ones who are living in neighbourhoods with a direct access to services, shops and green areas. The current crisis is showing the urgency of accelerating the implementation of the so-called “15-Minute-City”, a concept recently made famous by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo during her campaign for municipal elections but well-known to the experts of sustainable urban development and inspired to similar experiences (such as the 20-minute neighbourhoods of Portland or the East London’s Every One Every Day plan) adopted by other cities.
Reducing the access radius to education, culture and leisure, sustainable food and transport facilities should not be just a right of who is living in the city centres, but local authorities and communities need to cooperate to ensure that this kind of accessibility is granted to all the residents.
One of the desirable revolutions which could take place in the next months should be for every city to provide its “15-Minute-Plan” as part of its strategies for recovery and resilience, which needs to be constantly updated according to the evolution of the pandemic in the next months. Collaborating with residents in defining this kind of plans and regularly checking their implementation can be crucial for reviving a community spirit based on the right to an accessible and liveable city.
Defining and implementing concrete actions to make the revival of local shops more stable and long-standing, to give a framework for the innovative use of green areas and public spaces, to offer green alternatives for the mobility from home to work cannot be postponed. These measures can have a decisive impact on raising the quality of life in cities, reducing inequalities and promoting social and economic growth also after the end of the pandemic emergency.
More than ever, making our cities effective testing grounds for innovation can be one of the solutions to be implemented through temporary interventions fostering accessibility and behavioural changes in urban residents. On medium and long term, it will become one of the ways to combine the hyper-local dimension of urban quality and the global trends for more integrated and accessible cities.