The historical roots of the 15-minute city are connected deeply with the current moment—one we will be living with for a long time to come, says the World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum has been quietly working on something called the ’15-Minute-City’, a plan, or shall we say scheme, that recently has advanced from the planning stage to the prototype stage, and this should concern you if you value your individual liberty and freedom. We have told you repeatedly, and so say we again now, there are more lockdowns coming only the reasons for them will change. COVID was a trial balloon to see if people would consent to being locked down, and guess what, they did. No stopping it now. 2023 is gonna be a crazy year.
“But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.” Matthew 10:17,18 (KJB)
The WEF freely admits that, had it not been for the COVID pandemic, the idea of a 15-minute city would not have gotten much traction. Funny thing, that’s just what Stefan Oelrich from Bayer Pharmaceuticals said about the mRNA, without the pandemic people would not have agreed to have experimental cell and gene editing technology injected into their body. Now you know what the 15-Minute City is, and more importantly, who is behind it. Remember being forced to stand 6ft apart, and all the other grooming we experienced? All that was preparation for you to accept your ‘zone’ like good little boys and girls. Resist, baby, resist!
The surprising stickiness of the ’15-minute city’
FROM THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM: For longtime urbanists, the 15-minute city seemed to merely repackage the historic urban pattern of development: walkable, mixed-used districts. Old wine, new bottle, as the saying goes. But for a new framing to ignite a global urbanism movement, clearly there’s more going on.
The obvious, yet incomplete, answer is the pandemic. Would Paris’s Mayor Anne Hidalgo have pushed for progressive urban design without this framing? Undoubtedly. But with COVID-19 and its variants keeping everyone home (or closer to home than usual), the 15-minute city went from a “nice-to-have” to a rallying cry. Meeting all of one’s needs within a walking, biking or transit distance was suddenly a matter of life and death. The pandemic created an urgency around equitable urbanism that sidelined arguments about bike lanes and other “amenities” that have roiled communities for years.
The World Economic Forum is in the process of enabling climate lockdowns. With Melbourne and Paris the testing grounds of 15 minute cities. Vehicles will be banned and you must stay within a 15 minute ride radius. pic.twitter.com/9VrTUctS6Z
— Pelham (@Resist_05) December 28, 2022
The term was coined in 2016 by Sorbonne professor Carlos Moreno, who was given an Obel Award in 2021 for developing the idea. The graph below comes from a Google Trend search of worldwide usage of the term; the peak in the middle is approximately November 15, 2020.
COVID-19 may now be flipping this on its head, which is why the 15-minute city concept is taking hold in a way that it would not have before the pandemic. As demonstrated by the illustration below, the 15-minute city puts home at the center of urban spatial relationships. The point is not to have every cultural amenity and human desire within immediate reach of one’s doorstep. New York can only have one Broadway theater district. But there’s no question that Midtown Manhattan will have to follow a similar recovery pattern that Lower Manhattan did in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack: diversification. And that is true of the suburbs as well, significantly beyond the extent to which they’ve already diversified.
As climate change and global conflict cause shocks and stresses at faster intervals and increasing severity, the 15-minute city will become even more critical. Anyone who has followed Erik Klinenberg’s work knows that resilience is rooted in place. Specifically, communities that foster and maintain social and economic relationships don’t have to be wealthy, but they do need to be walkable and safe, with both residential and commercial buildings intact. And, I would add, for 15-Minute Cities to thrive, not just survive crises—and this cannot be stressed enough—they must also have plenty of mixed-income and equitable housing, as well as digital access.
This is how neighbors can know and understand each other: as local store owners and workers, colleagues, caregivers, educators, and friends. These are the people who come together when it matters most. The mutual-aid groups that appeared during the pandemic exemplify the importance of social cohesion in a crisis, which only works if necessities are within a reasonable distance of where people live. READ MORE
The World Economic Forum and the 15-Minute City Scheme
GRAPHIC WARNING: at 9:20 of this video contains a single profanity, somewhat mild, but a word to the wise.
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