- Published: 04 October 2022
To combat climate change, the nonprofit group C40 Cities is partnering with a Danish firm to pilot walkable neighborhoods in five global cities.
The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of about 100 global mayors that focuses on climate change and sustainability, is partnering with alternative asset manager Nordic Real Estate Partners (NREP) to bring one of the buzziest concepts in urban planning — the “15-minute city” — to life in a handful of locations globally.
The idea is to make urban areas less dependent on cars as part of the fight against climate change. The 15-minute city framework emphasizes bringing the essentials of daily life — work, entertainment, schools and green space — within a short walk or bicycle ride from home, reducing vehicle use and dramatically cutting carbon and pollution emissions.
The public-private partnership will start with at least five pilot cities, which have yet to be announced, according to a press conference Wednesday at the Earthshot Summit in New York City, which was co-sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies. (Disclaimer: Bloomberg Philanthropies is the philanthropic organization of Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg News; Michael Bloomberg is also the president of the board of C40 Cities.)
The initiative will focus on two types of neighborhoods: new ones cropping up and existing ones that need revamping. NREP has pledged an initial commitment of $500,000 to the plan over the course of two years. The Copenhagen-based firm oversees 18 billion euros ($17.7 billion) in assets under management.
“Dense, multi-purpose neighborhoods see a reduction in emissions,” Mark Watts, the executive director of C40, said during the press conference. The concept “reclaims space in cities from polluting vehicles back to people.”
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, locating jobs and homes in close proximity to one another and providing good public transportation and mixed land use can help cut emissions by around 25%.
The 15-minute city concept has been most closely associated with Paris, where Carlos Moreno, scientific director of Sorbonne University’s ETI Lab, has promoted it in his role as an adviser to Mayor Anne Hidalgo. But the idea gained international visibility during the Covid-19 pandemic as lockdowns forced millions to remain closer to home. Developers and planners have adopted the label for a master-planned community in a Utah suburb; a Swedish think tank, meanwhile, has proposed a hyper-local “one-minute city”.
Moreno is also a strategic partner in the C40/NREP initiative, as is UN-Habitat. Organizers say the pilot programs will be one of the first attempts to coordinate efforts to create 15-minute neighborhoods between local officials around the world, with the goal of establishing design standards and blueprints that other cities can follow. To be sure, local input will play a crucial role.
“The invisible partner in all of this is, of course, city governments,” said Watts.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Amelia Pollard
Quelle/Source: Bloomberg, 22.09.2022