By Jessica Devous
This week’s Map of the Week highlights the proposal by Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo to redesign Paris as a 15-minute walking city. Le Paris du ¼ Heure (Paris in a Quarter of An Hour) is designed to show the ideal lifestyle of the new city. The map shows that wherever a Parisian is located, they stand within a fifteen-minute radius of their chez moi (home), travailler (work), s’approvisionner (markets), se soigner (health clinics), and se cultiver s’engager (community engagement). If re-elected, Hidalgo will use her new campaign to replan the city’s infrastructure, which could improve overall quality of life.
The aesthetic appeal of the map highlights the social and economic diversity of the redesigned city to make activities within a 15-minute radius. Like other developed cities, Paris has a geographical division rooted in the industrial era and they are dependent on a network of roads to connect a person to their sources of livelihood, home, and beyond. Because of heavy traffic and vast dependence on the road network, locals can often find themselves commuting forty-five minutes for work, home, entertainment, and health.
Parisians have been pushing back against the dominance of cars in their city. Last year, the amount of Parisians cycling to work grew 54%, driving Paris towards a post-car era. Hoping to be 100% cyclable by 2024, plans to restructure the city’s roads and public areas are soon to follow. The hyper-proximity initiative for the 2.2 million residents of Paris could reduce travel time between activities, creating a bike-friendly city with added social and economic benefits. Further proposals for more green spaces and reduction of cars can improve air pollution from transportation, and reduce the stress and hours spent commuting in the city. Changing their relationship with time, mobility, and others, this “walker-friendly” city could increase community interaction, diversify local businesses, and improve quality of life. So, what do you think about this 15-minute city?