City planners, urbanists, and environmentalists in countries such as the UK, Australia, the USA, Denmark, Spain and Argentina have been discussing the concept of the 15-minute city. Simply put, this is a city where essential services could be accessed by all residents within 15 minutes. In the process the city inevitably reimagines neighborhoods’ public spaces and streets for the benefit of all regardless of age, mobility, or background.
Three years ago, the mayor of Paris made this a central part of her successful campaign for re-election. The term was introduced in 2016 by the Sorbonne University’s Professor Carlos Moreno, whose expressed interest is in making the well-being of humans the central concern of urban organization: “The idea is to promote sustainability and health by reducing car dependency and increasing physical activity.”
This Washington Post story I read mentions that, despite the inevitable conspiracy theories of a “socialist plot,” Moreno makes a point that the idea has been embraced by city leaders spanning the political gamut, “from Buenos Aires to Busan.”
Ottawa was one the first cities to have embraced the idea, asking residents to take half of their trips by carpooling, bicycling, walking, or taking public transportation.
C40 Cities (see link below), focused on fighting climate change, has suggested the concept as an actual plan for economic recovery after Covid. [note: one member of their 13-member steering committee is from BsAs.]
Is this an idea that could work in Buenos Aires? With its subte and bus systems, public spaces, and growing bike paths, are many of its barrios already 15-minute cities?