Being influenced by the reality that COVID-19 imposed, human beings have accelerated and intensified their collective reflection on how we are designing cities, how we are interrelated, how access to work, health, education and food conditions us, and how we relate to natural environments.
The pandemic caused much of the planet to be confined, because the viral spread of covid-19 is directly related to urban life.
Additionally, we realized that our old bedroom space (only for sleeping) was forcibly becoming our “only space”, where we must currently do all our life activities, and it became totally narrow and uncomfortable.
The concept “city of 15 minutes” or “city of the quarter of an hour” was coined by Carlos Moreno, scientific director and professor of Entrepreneurship, Territory and Innovation (ETI) at the Sorbonne University in Paris.
“Modern cities have been segmented between where they live, where they work, where they shop … and one of the most important things in life has been lost: the notion of useful time.”
What if you lived in a place where everything you need is just a few minutes away on foot or by bike?
For this, decentralization is essential, that is, the city must have multiple centers to satisfy the basic functions: living, working, shopping, taking care of oneself physically and mentally, educating and enjoying themselves.
A place where you have a nearby market, restaurants, the children’s school, your hospital that provides health care, your work, your recreation, etc… Then you would live in a “15 minute city”.
“The ‘city of 15 minutes’ is an original response to the problem of climate change, offering a decrease in forced displacements that occur in today’s cities to places of frequentation to create accessibility to the necessary services and live in the city within walking distance or by bike “, describes the expert. The city flattened, deconcentrated and extended to the suburbs.
This concept of the city goes in the opposite direction to the urban planning of the last 100 years that separated the residential space from work, retail, industry and entertainment.
It is also what Paris is implementing since this year and as part of the plan of the mayor of the city, Anne Hidalgo, even before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, to reduce pollution and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.
What exactly is a “15 minute city” like? Could it be replicated in Latin America? And how could it help the economic recovery after the pandemic?
Implementing the “15-minute city” model in Paris is one thing, and doing it in cities in Colombia is quite another.
Paris is easy because it was already built to be that way. What is being tried to reinforce is the concept of ’15-minute city’.
However, the challenge is whether it can be done in the suburbs of the city. Condition the continuous extension of urban centers so that they develop under the concept of the 15-minute city. Deconcentrating large cities with the criterion that there are no massive daily displacements of the inhabitants of the outskirts of the city inwards. In return, in the sprawling suburbs there must be schools, hospitals, entertainment and telecommuting. A much more relaxed life, more economical, without wasting time, more ecological and kinder to nature and human beings.
With this, the vicious circle of home-work-home is broken in large Colombian cities. “Teleworking becomes a much more productive and efficient job, because there are no longer 3 hours a day” lost “in mobilizing.
Not needing public transport or private vehicle to carry out day-to-day activities, which in the end takes about 2-3 hours on average compared to current daily life in large cities of Colombia.
It is a mini-city with neighborhoods, where you can find what you need 15 minutes from your home. The condition is to move on foot or by bike. The proposal was born in response to the original problem of climate change, offering a decrease in forced displacement present in today’s cities. In this way, an accessibility to the services necessary to live without even having to take public transport is created. That is, create self-sufficient microcities in the suburbs of the big city.
Decentralization is therefore essential. We are used to living in segmented cities: on the one hand work, on the other the home, on the other leisure and services … In the context in which we are, this is reconsidered as a positive vision to implement as a new city structure. Another positive side that we would take out of this system is to regain proximity between citizens. This is something that has been lost as the city has grown since relations are not linked with the surroundings, but rather citizens are passing through the different areas of the city. A kind of anonymity.
When looking for the deconcentration of the big city, we realize that we can have much more space, since we can have larger homes, more integrated with the natural environment, with space to tele-work.
In the post-pandemic reality, this is not something we will have to wait for in Colombia. What was needed is a trigger (COVID-19) for companies to be aware of the true possibility of teleworking.
Public services in the suburbs of large cities in Colombia have improved a lot in recent years. Today having good internet connections and good public services is a reality. Fortunately, all of Colombia is developed with a number of towns near the great cities of extraordinary beauty, whose economies can be strengthened and energized by all the change that is coming.
Take the step, leave the big cities to start enjoying another type of healthier, ecological and more humane life. At ARKIHAUS we are at your service to help you have that desired space for your future home.
The reality is that we are living in unbalanced urban cities, where there are highly developed neighborhoods of activity while others are off. The crisis calls for unemployment, unemployment calls for poverty … We want to take advantage of the fact that after the pandemic, local business models are created. There will be talk of a new economy of proximity. It is clear that in the future we will not live in the same way. Everything is modified and transformed. This transformation should not be seen as an investment of money but as a renewal of what already exists. Give a new direction to the location of uses, in this way we will be betting on sustainability and improving the quality of life of the inhabitants.