SCP Partnership Background
The Metropolitan Council has specific responsibilities that are enshrined in statute and defined within the regional development framework of Thrive MSP 2040. Pay particular attention to the region’s Sustainability Outcome. Planning for sustainability means –
- Promoting the wise use of water through expanding water conservation and reuse, increasing groundwater recharge, and optimizing surface water and groundwater use.
- Providing leadership, information, and technical assistance to support local governments’ consideration of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.
- Operating the region’s wastewater treatment and transit systems sustainably.
While you may research a climate justice or environmental issue of your choice, it needs to provide recommendations for the Metropolitan Council or its partner communities. Your research should provide methodologies, policies, case studies, best practices, frameworks, or implementation strategies that the Metropolitan Council can employ or support. The paper should demonstrate an understanding of the Minnesota context for your particular subject.
Quality of the Deliverable
As a Sustainable Communities Partnership project, it is essential that the quality of the work mirrors a professional work product. The deliverable should be of high quality, well researched and formatted, with considered recommendations. The deliverable should demonstrate a strong understanding of the GHG reduction strategy and its equity implications.
You might want to consider using the Race Forward Racial Equity Impact Assessment to analyze the equity implications of your recommendations.
Organization’s Research Questions
What characteristics or conditions increase sustainability outcomes for your given research topic, and how can these be applied within seven-county metro region? How can local governments and the Council work to increase sustainable outcomes through regional and local planning efforts?
What information and recommendations can we provide to local governments to help them plan to mitigate environmental problems or increase climate justice?
Font/Pt: Arial or similar, 11pt
Format: Report format, space between paragraphs, no indentation
Spacing: Single w/headers
Page Count: 6 -8
Margins: One-inch (2.54 cm) margins
Citations: APA, Resource: https://www.scribbr.com/category/apa-style/
Sections of the Report
Research Paper Thesis
- What issue are you exploring; what question(s) are you trying to answer?
- Provide context for your research. Define the scope here and include any background information and definitions here.
Conditions/Policies (if applicable)
- What are the conditions or policies, if there are any, especially as they relate to Minnesota? You may want to assess the effectiveness of current policies for the particular issue or within Minnesota.
- Your research findings may require you to include case study material from other sources/locations.
- Your research should provide methodologies, policies, case studies, best practices, frameworks, or implementation strategies that the Metropolitan Council can employ or support.
Implications/Recommendations of Research
- Based on your research findings above, include recommendations on how this environmental issue/climate justice issue relates to Minnesota.
- Based on your research findings above, include recommendations on how apply your findings to the Minnesota context.
The 15-minute City’s primary goal is to improve the cities’ quality of life, as explained earlier. The idea of a ’15-minute city’ is one where most people should achieve everything about their lives-home, work, play, retail, services, health care-within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from where they live. Through this concept of ’15-minute city’, we can lower our carbon footprint and, in doing so, achieve a more local, healthy, and sustainable way of life. In summary, 15 minutes is the foundation for future smart cities. Recently, 15-minute City has gained worldwide recognition, particularly with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Government officials, urban planners, and climate experts have embraced the concept as a critical model to help cities recover from the pandemic’s adverse effects. Besides the local governments, international initiatives cite the need to implement and adopt green e stimulus plans to revive the economy. Stemming from an American-based urban planner Clarence Perry the 15-minute city concept is anchored on four distinct principles: proximity, diversity, density, and ubiquity. Ideally, the scope of the 15-minute City is engineered to platform smarter and efficient cities through increased adoption of teleworking, improved mass transit, and adequate housing. For instance, the 15-minute City is at the centerpiece of the Minnesota Housing Act. Over the years, China, the US, and Paris have become landmark cities in adopting and implementing 15-minute cities. The 15-minute City’s success will cause a complete overhaul of the City’s mobility and logistics culture, which further translates to less green gas emissions and more walkable designs.
The 15-Minute City
Smart cities have become a salient topic amongst scholars, policymakers, and climate experts, and government officials in the recent past. Most researchers are working towards integrating smart living, recreation, and meeting all people’s needs through technologically advanced gadgets. For others, the smart city concept is drawn from incentives, initiatives based on big data, technology, and smart-enabled systems to improve life processes, simultaneously boosting city residents’ quality of life. The dream to bring about technologically advanced smart cities is no longer a vision but is being actualized in most cities. From Cape Town to Paris, cities visualize sustainable and mega environmentally friendly concepts as a multifaceted urban development approach. In the recent past, smart city pioneers and founders have brought up a new and revolutionary vision, namely the 15-minute City. According to Grandi (2020), a 15-minute city will revolutionize the existing dysfunction in urban areas. The core idea is to help people thrive, learn, and thrive on their own needs rather than living to adapt to urban developments. The concept is premised on the notion that people can access all their daily necessities such as work, homes, healthcare, and recreation within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from their residence. Anchored on reducing our carbon footprint, the 15-minute city concept is geared to improve the quality of life through sustainable, healthy, and thriving local economies in the urban areas.
Recently, 15-minute City has gained worldwide recognition, particularly with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Government officials, urban planners, and climate experts have embraced the concept as a critical model to help cities recover from the pandemic’s adverse effects. Besides the local governments, international initiatives cite the need to implement and adopt green e stimulus plans to revive the economy. As the numbers continue to soar up in the US, the Mayor’s Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery across all the C4O cities has proposed numerous recovery plans. In collaboration with the international community, the mayors are working on the front line to fight against climate change and maximize efforts to promote sustainable development. In this regard, the plan will harbor numerous sustainable strategies to reinforce resilience to avoid economic recession. Green energy, green transport, energy-efficient investment, and building are the building block of economic recovery. The primary idea is to reduce mass movement to avoid spreading the highly infectious disease, invest in parks and green spaces to encourage social distancing during walks and recreational activities.
Background Information on the 15-minute City
The 15-minute City is not new; the concept of the 15-minute City originates from Clarence Perry’s ‘Neighborhood unit,’ the patent work in the early 1900s. Clarence Perry used the design as a reference for residential development in the urban areas. It served as a framework to ensure that all the residential areas were within walking distance of a public or private institution. Historically the concept of ‘Neighborhood unit’ served as the foundation for modern-day planning and pillar of progressive urbanism, suburbanization, and even building works, roads, water, and other civil works classification system. Since then, the idea has been reinvented and brought to Carlos Moreno, a French-Columbian Sorbonne Professor. Carlos Moreno is on a mission to bring the revolutionary 15-minute city concept into life. Using this framework, Metropolitan urban planners can design and implement the 15-minute city concept today.
The 15-minute city concept is anchored on four distinct principles: proximity, diversity, density, and ubiquity. Firstly, it is crucial to take care of people’s needs in the immediate environment before venturing into other residential areas. For instance, there is a school, grocery store, clinic, or hospital, green space in the neighborhood within a 15 min walking/biking radius. Secondly, the “15-minute city” should be culturally, spiritually, and socially inclusive. Smart cities should promote a sense of belonging and love for one another. People should have access to a church, temple, or mosque within a 15minute ride or walk in the residential area. Next, in line, the 15-minute concept should consider the population density. The population ratio is a critical determinant in the success of the 15-minute City. Finally, the 15-minute idea should be part of the overall urban planning of a city. Implementation of the 15-minute concept would not be useful if the plan were only executed in metropolitan towns. Although the pilot project should start in the cities, the idea should be adopted in the other suburban towns. With this, the 15-minute idea can dully redress an urban world’s irreversible development.
The primary objective of the 15-minute concept is to create smart cities through multifaceted approaches that involve long distances covered to meet our daily needs. The 15-minute concept is changing the social and economic dynamics in many communities. When the climate action plans are implemented, they will be more inclusive and integrated cultures. By nature, humans gravitate towards the town’s rhythm. The core idea of the 15-minute City is to a green mixed, community-inclusive urban planning. Scientifically this will reduce the carbon footprint on the planet. The approach extends to improved mass transit, recycling, and walkable designs. The City will undergo many phases whereby the cars will be ejected from town squares, and the connecting roads will be renovated for safe transit for pedestrians. Grandi (2020) posits that the 15-minute concept mirrors the futuristic capacity and capabilities to live, learn, and thrive in a decentralized city.
The concept of a 15-minute city’ is beneficial to the residents as well as the community. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Creating or modifying environments to make it easier for people to walk or bike is a strategy that not only helps increase physical activity, but it can also make communities better places to live” (CDC, 2020). Traditionally people who ride bikes or walk regularly are healthier. Having a walkable community makes it easier for people to live a healthier lifestyle and improve the neighborhood’s living status. If more of the residents are walking and biking, that means that they are less likely to be driving, and even if they do drive, that would mean that they have a shorter travel distance. Less traffic means that the air is cleaner and that there is less greenhouse gas being emitted. Retail in the neighborhood would also see an increase in improvement as having a local customer base is suitable for local businesses.
Conditions of a 15-minute city.’
The 15-minute City, also known as the complete neighborhood, will change the states’ living conditions. Although the idea compels minimal change to the building blocks, it derives systems to bring infrastructure closer to the people. The 15-minute concept design’s primary question is managing how the existing facilities will serve the people in the neighborhood. People’s needs are insatiable, diverse, and habitual. Therefore it is essential to consider the rate of consumption and inclusivity to ensure that all services are available for people within a 15-minute walk or ride. Failure to this design will not be sufficient and will fail even before it starts, and so, people will retract to their old way of life. Although the 15-minute City begins in the cities, the goal is to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to suburban areas. With this realization, it is pertinent to erect houses that are accommodative to people from all walks of life. All the neighborhood structures should be designed to befit the needs and wants of the communities. Residences within 15-minute walk access to all basic needs should be high-quality houses that offer a wide range of services such as green space environment, large and airy spaces to avoid congestion. Following this, it is of paramount importance to standardize the pricing of the housing structures. The design concept should encompass a solid and well-integrated grading system that assigns fair and moderate prices for the infrastructure and residences within a 15-minute city. For instance, in fulfillment of the Fair Housing Act requirements, the Minnesota housing policy speculates that housing should be readily available and affordable to all people regardless of color, race, religion, sex, national origin, etc.
The neighborhood structure of a 15-minute city is likely to bring about many positive outcomes in personal and societal wellbeing. Implementation of this concept will enhance the neighborhood’s livability by promoting cost-effective services and products that simultaneously boost local and urban economies. This, in effect, will include lower traffic congestion levels, improved health outcomes, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and greater social inclusion. For this concept to work, most of the services, activities, and social infrastructure need to be met. The main idea of the’ 15-minute city’ is for people to be within close walking and biking distance to access daily needs. This does not mean that cars and public transportation have now become obsolete. It would just mean that there would be less distance needed to be driving to places with vehicles. This will still affect reducing emissions and lowering traffic congestion. Anchored on three main variables; businesses, houses, and public space, the 15-minute City envisions decentralized cities.
To accomplish the 15-minute city concept, the design should merge people’s social and economic needs. In the world of planning, these three concepts intermarry to form a conducive environment. In the early phases of renovations, there needs to be a defined city framework to integrate this decentralizes this concept to create a sustainable healthy environment. Although not all city businesses will thrive in community-based centers, the idea will act as an underlying principle/guide that might enhance urban living by transforming the megacities into more serene, healthier environments for all. The 15-minute city concept must boost all possible strategies to guarantee continuity, prevent losses, and job layoffs. The primary approach is embedded in the ability to work from home. This new approach to the workplace is known as telework. This recent phenomenon of work does not require workers to commute to work. This will immensely reduce the physical movement of workers through cars that contribute to pollution and energy use.
The increased adoption of telework is primarily centered on sustainable living due to its ability to minimize physical transport, which reduces the carbon footprint. This has contributed to the downward pummeling of the most common mode of transportation. Although it is projected that cars’ use will scale down in the advent of 15-minute City, it is implausible that vehicles will become obsolete. For instance, not all city dwellers will embrace the neighborhood communities. However, a decentralized neighborhood setup will cause a decrease in energy consumption. The design concept will reduce commuting, as most necessities will be available at their homes’ comfort. This will be exemplified by developing green spaces, energy-efficient transport systems such as cycling and walking to meet the needs of people who live, learn, and thrive in a decentralized environment. The 15-minute city concept will maximize on in-house solutions designed to cut down on public transportation.
Case Studies of 15-minute City
One of the landmark case studies of the integration of the 15-minute city concept is Paris in France. The idea has been the centerpiece agenda of the current Mayor. Paris, France, is considered one of the leading cities to have incorporated this concept of’ 15-minute city’. This concept was a crucial pillar in Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s 2020 re-election campaign. The City’s approach was to improve Parisians’ quality of life by reducing air pollution and hours lost due to commuting. In a survey that was done, “76 percent of Parisians and people living in the Paris region are willing to take a pay cut to avoid the hassle of their daily commute” (Emerson, & Smiley, 2018). Showcasing why this concept of a 15-minute city’ was so popular amongst Parisian helped re-elected Mayor Anne Hidalgo, as most of the Parisians were willing to take a pay cut if it meant that they would have a shorter commute. This plan was also implemented to help achieve the City’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. To accomplish this feat of having everything is within a 15-minute walk or cycling, Paris has already massively scaled up the construction on its protected pedestrian and bike lane. According to the article Paris’s Mayor has a dream of ‘the 15-minute city’, “Paris is already walkable, and as the city has added new bike lanes, the number of cyclists has grown 54% over the last year alone” (Adele, 2020). This confirms that by just improving the bike lanes’ infrastructure in Paris and increasing newer lanes, there is already a massive increase in how Parisians travel.
The 15-minute City has also received support from the Chinese government. Introduced in 2016, the Shanghai Master plan launched the design concept as a significant building block to a healthier and sustainable life in major cities such as Shanghai. This design concept has been highly integrated in China to restore the work-life balance pertinent to the Asian community (ZHOU, 2019). The idea is also grounded in promoting cleaner energy amidst the vast network of industries in China. In the recent past, China has conducted numerous pilot programs to determine the walkable distance for most cities’ businesses and residential areas. Following this, the Chinese government has narrowed down pedestrian walking and cycling lanes for all people groups. Following this, the new cycle paths, green spaces, limited traffic, and energy-efficient community facilities reflect potentially the transformative vision for urban planners: 15 –minute city.
Moreover, China has erected more firm and rigid frameworks to adopt the 15-minute city concept seamlessly. A series of studies confirm a high level of dependence on socioeconomic facilities access to work, life, and recreation to facilitate a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle. To bring the 15-minute city concept to life, the Chinese government builds the socioeconomic capacity and the walkability potential to scale up infrastructure development to cater to all the neighboring communities. China has also set out to broaden the 15 walk distance accessibility phenomenon in urban and rural areas. With the integration of this concept, the rapid rural to urban migration will scale down. Simultaneously the huge air pollution menace will decrease and create a conducive environment for all cities.
Launched in 2018 by the Minister of Melbourne planning, the pilot program is set to diverse strategies and approaches to ensure people have access to the basic amenities within a 20-minute walking/riding distance. The plan’s primary goal is to determine the practicality of the 20-minute principle across different cities in Melbourne. This plan aligns with the 2050 neutral carbon footprint pact that has become a salient topic for the G20 countries. The program devises strategies to encourage access to jobs, healthcare, and basic amenities close to homes. The approach aligns with Melbourne’s vision future for smart cities to accommodate and provide a conducive environment due to the spike in population. The aim is to promote inclusive, vibrant, and friendly neighborhoods that will transform the world of planning and design. Plan Melbourne is at the heart of sustainable and healthy living. Centered on the need to make optimal land use, erect different house types, and access public transport, the plan is the highly anticipated smart cities’ backbone. The walkable and well connected public utilities are designed for people to work, live, and play. The plan also encourages community-based social halls, social centers, and recreation centers to encourage interaction. According to the Heart Foundation, a key stakeholder in the program, the walkable will be ideal for people to be in once the 20-minute rule is appropriately implemented.
The plan is premised on the idea that it must fulfill 6key conditions to meet the 20-minute city threshold. For most, the program must boost safe, accessible, and well-connected pedestrians and cyclists to encourage the culture of walking/riding. Secondly, the 20-minute rule should offer high-quality green spaces to fit for human interaction and multiple usages. Thirdly the design concept should be mindful of the services and locations of the neighboring communities. Next in line, the 20-minute city concept must facilitate direct access to public transport to ease moving. Lastly, the design concept should have the capacity and capability to support a thriving local economy (Whitzman, 2013).
15-minute City in Minnesota
Minnesota is an envoy to the vision of Carlos Moreno. The City boasts a thriving and well connected urban and resident. Modeled on the need to merge the growing population to the rhythm of life with a quality life. Minnesota is on the forefront towards an inclusive and vibrant culture with the state city development to enhance work balance and improve life quality. Anchored on similar belief, Paul Mogush, a Minneapolis urban planner, demystifies the 15-minute City in terms of “put the stuff closer together, so it is easier to get to the stuff” (Minneapolis, 2019). From this perspective, urban planners and architects in Minnesota have been working collaboratively to break out the mobility and logistics quagmire that has for so long bankrupted the cities and the cities. Ideally, the 15-minute city concept has zoned out the vicious cycle of long driving, congestion in the urban areas, aiming to access the same building to get similar services.
Minnesota is home to vast roads winding down to connect people to their workplace, business, and schools. However, with the advent of a 15-minute City, there will change the never-ending cycle rhythms of public transport. The 15-minute cycle intends to consolidate the businesses, jobs, and schools into a central space that is environmentally friendly and shares commonly walkable or well-connected features. This environment will harbor a high level of independence that is still anchored and nurtured to fulfill the people’s needs, which always creates a healthy and sustainable life. The design concept will ensure all the necessary amenities are within a 15-minute walk distance from this perspective. This will significantly subsidize budgetary allocations for infrastructure. Simultaneously this will impede commuting, which aids in implementing an energy renewal strategy as part of the 2050 US pact to become carbon neutral.
Historically Minnesota is renowned for high greenhouse emissions. The state is home to an extensive network of pipelines that serve the greater North American region. However, with the national and regional planning initiatives such as the 15-minute City, green gas emissions are plummeting. With the 15-minute city initiative’s adoption, the city dwellers’ high dependence on fuel to move from one place to another has subsided. The revamp of the City’s. To facilitate renewable energy strategies and limit the power and other nonrenewable energies that increases the carbon footprint.
The 15-minute city vision is to reorganize the City’s conditions, time, and resources to create a healthy and sustainable environment. While this is practically possible, it requires many transformative ambitions from government officials, urban planners, and even the city dwellers. Although there are standard approaches to planning, cities can apply a multifaceted approach to achieve a 15-minute town. Through comprehensive analysis of the 15-minute City, innovative strategies and techniques cities can increase the capacity of walkable designs and micro-mobility through a comprehensive plan characterized by twin allocation of budgetary allocations that bolster a seamless transition to a 15-minute town. A twin city’s core idea is to merge resources, time, and effort to develop a solid plan to oversee the 15-minute city concept’s seamless transition. The Paris C40 proposals can facilitate cities’ twin objective to fulfill the 15-minute city concept.
The 15-minute City’s primary goal is to improve the cities’ quality of life, as explained earlier. The idea of a ’15-minute city’ is one where most people should achieve everything about their lives-home, work, play, retail, services, health care-within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from where they live. Through this concept of ’15-minute city’, we can lower our carbon footprint and, in doing so, achieve a more local, healthy, and sustainable way of life. In summary, 15 minutes is the foundation for future smart cities. The 15-minute City’s success will cause a complete overhaul of the City’s mobility and logistics culture, which further translates to less green gas emissions and more walkable designs.
Adele, P. (2020). Paris’s Mayor has a dream of ’15-minute City. Retrieved from Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/90456312/pariss-mayor-has-a-dream-for-a-15-minute-city
Emerson, M. O., & Smiley, K. T. (2018). Market Cities, People Cities: The shape of our urban future. NYU Press.
Grandi, L. K. (2020). Smart City Diplomacy. In City Diplomacy (pp. 97-109). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Minneapolis. (, 2019). Minneapolis Greenhouse Gas Emissions Tracking. Retrieved from Minneapolis: http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/sustainability/climate-action-goals/ghg-emissions
Whitzman, C., Tucker, D., Bishop, A., Doyon, A., Jones, C., Lowen, T., & McMillan, E. (2013, November). Plan Melbourne: Can Outer Suburbs Become 20 Minute Neighbourhoods?. In-State of Australian Cities National Conference, 2013, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
ZHOU, D. (2019). EXAMINATION OF THE 15-MINUTE LIFE CYCLE PROGRAM OF A CHINESE MEGA CITY: CASE STUDY OF GUANGZHOU. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 238, 97-106.