Paris is showing the world the future (their present) of good urban design, and it’s all about 15 minutes. We’ve looked at this concept before, and every year Paris pushes us further. The city has already reduced their reliance on automobiles and increased mobility for the entire populace. They’ve added green space and now since the pandemic hit they’ve accelerated their plans to make the entire city a good place to live. The core concept for all of this is that everything a person needs should be a 15 minute walk from their house.
â€œWe know sometimes large cities can be tiring and can create a sense of anonymity,â€ says Rolland. â€œBut proximity means that we will, through our social links, rediscover our way of living in cities. We want open spaces, but ones for doing nothing in particular, where people can meet each other or encounters can happen as much as possible. We live better when we live together, and this will rework our social fabric.â€
The transformation of neighbourhoods has been well underway since Hidalgo took office in 2014, with the Paris mayorÂ banningÂ high-polluting vehicles,Â restrictingÂ the quays of the Seine to pedestrians and cyclists, and creating mini green spaces across the city â€“ since 2018, more than 40 Parisian school grounds have beenÂ transformedÂ into green â€œoasis yardsâ€. More than 50km of bike routes known as â€œcoronapistesâ€ have also been added since the pandemic struck and last month renovation of the Place de la Bastille wasÂ completedÂ as part of a â‚¬30m redesign of seven major squares. Hidalgo hasÂ pledgedÂ a further â‚¬1bn euros ($1.2bn, Â£916m) per year for the maintenance and beautification of streets, squares and gardens.