Northern News

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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Making great communities happen

The 15-minute city as Covid-19 recovery

By Patrick Sisson, CityLab, July 15, 2020

“An international coalition of cities believes that the only path forward for mayors is funding green stimulus plans focused on job creation.

“Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, traditional working, shopping, and commuting patterns in the U.S. have been disrupted. Remote work has transformed the lives of millions of white-collar professionals, and many offices are unlikely to reopen soon. Meanwhile, many commercial spaces — suburban office parks, shopping malls, and low-density retail districts — are struggling for survival.

“A new C40 Cities report touts Paris’s [15-minute city] for putting essentials within close walking or biking distance as an economic boost for coronavirus-ravaged municipal budgets.

One core idea: Cities are the “engines of the recovery,” and investing in their resilience is the best way to avoid economic disaster.

“The agenda — for CC40’s Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force — recommends that ‘all residents will live in 15-minute cities,’ echoing the transformative ambitions of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. ‘Fifteen-minute cities, micromobility, and more space for walking and biking are innovative solutions that will help our cities rebuild and restore our economy while protecting lives and cutting dangerous pollution,’ said Carol M. Browner, former EPA administrator and board chair of the League of Conservation Voters, in a statement supporting the agenda.

“It’s not a new idea. But the C40’s embrace of the 15-minute city concept may be the most concise and catchy way to repackage the idea as a pandemic economic recovery tool.”

Read more here.

For more on the 15-minute city, see “Equitably resolving public space in the time of Covid-19,” in this issue of Northern News.