Shorter walks, bicycle rides: All you need to know about ‘15-minute city’ Covid-19 recovery plan



The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged hundreds of cities across the world, upsetting their budgets. Businesses are closing at staggering rates and people losing their jobs equally fast.

It is against this backdrop that an international coalition of cities has come forward with a novel plan to not only deal with the Covid-19 crisis but also recover from it.

C40 Cities, an international coalition of urban leaders, has floated the idea that all residents will live in ‘15-minute city’. The concept talks about developing the infrastructure in such a way that all residents of a city are able to meet most of their needs within a short walk or bicycle ride from their homes.

“This way, we will be giving streets back to people, by permanently reallocating more road space to walking and cycling, investing in city-wide walking and cycling networks and green infrastructure,” C40 said on its website.

This will make the lives of the people more convenient, less stressful and more sustainable, it said.

This is a part of C40 Mayors Agenda for Green and Just Recovery in the wake of Covid-19. The agenda was led by C40 mayors around the globe and released on Wednesday.

C40 is a coalition of mayors of 96 cities across the world which represent 700 million people of the globe. Some of the cities part of this group are Freetown, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Medellin, Milan, Montreal, New Orleans, Rotterdam, Seattle and Seoul.

Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Jaipur are part of this initiative from India.

The C40 group said that the proposed green recovery plan is expected to yield US $24 trillion in economic benefits by 2050, and climate investments could support more than 80 million jobs by 2030.

It also said that many cities are already moving faster than national governments.

Some of the examples cited by C40 are: Bogota which has rolled out 35 km of cycle lanes and system of streets closed to cars; London which is expanding its cyclist infrastructure; Milan which has announced an ambitious scheme to increase walking and cycling; Freetown which has increased water provisions in the most vulnerable areas; Los Angeles which has installed solar panels at no cost on the homes of almost 2,000 low-income families; and Seoul which will kick off a building retrofitting scheme that is expected to create 20,000 jobs by 2022.


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