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The 15-Minute City concept gains tracking.

The 15-Minute City Concept Gains Traction

The-15-Minute City concept is gaining traction around the world as a placemaking tactic and means to enhance quality of life.   Although “city” is used in this coined term, this planning concept is more about a focus on livable neighborhoods and districts.

 

The “15-minute city” is a term for urban design and master planning wherein it is possible to meet the basic “needs of living” within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from a person’s home.  The needs of living include such services and amenities as:

 

  • Places of work, or, at least a coworking venue;
  • Grocers;
  • Pharmacies;
  • Schools for children, youth;
  • Health care or medical facilities, or simply, doctor and dentist offices;
  • Recreation, leisure and/or green spaces; at least a pocket or linear park;
  • Cultural venues;
  • Mass transit accessibility;
  • Affordable housing is assumed;
  • Flexible zoning to allow places with different day-part uses, such as local school facility that can be a community gathering place at night or on weekends; and
  • Places of worship are seldom mentioned as part of the 15-Minute City concept, but such places may be among the most successful community-building forces that have existed.

 

 

The planning term was first coined by by Prof. Carlos Moreno, a professor at Sorbonne University (Paris, France).  Prof. Moreno is the director of entrepreneurship and innovation at The Sorbonne.  Though popularized by the professor, the 15-Minute City concept itself  has been explored in major cities throughout the world from Melbourne to Portland, prior to its burgeoning popularity as an planning concept.

 

During 2020, the 15-Minute City concept has surged in interest as a sturdy planning concept alongside the increasing acceptance of coworking facilities and communities.   Coworking venues situated in close proximity to homes simply adds an additional destination within a 15-minute “neighborhood” that is vital within a 15-minute radii.

 

The 15-Minute City concept is a multi-faceted placemaking tactic.

Another aspect of making the 15-Minute City concept workable is the presence of affordable housing within each 15-Minute City cluster.  Many neighborhoods and districts around the world may work well for most required services and work places, but do not have the array of housing choices necessary.

 

Integrating the 15-Minute City concept with allied planning concepts is particularly interesting to local governments charged with numerous quality of life objectives and economic development initiatives.   A 15-Minute City imperative, as an example, is also deemed helpful in reducing the use of fossil fuels (vehicles), fighting carbon emissions, and thereby fighting climate change.  Also, applying the 15-Minute City thresholds of accessibility also advances the objectives for some groups in reversing local zoning codes to allow increased affordable housing options and thereby, more diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

 

The 15-Minute City concept has created such interest that purpose-built apps have been created to evaluate any particular location for 15-Minute City thresholds. Here Technologies (Eindhoven, Netherlands) is one such company that has created this kind of threshold’s map to answer the question – Do You Live in a 15-Minute City? We expect that the 15-Minute City parameters and software applications that track such notions, will join similar concepts as a niche investment asset class among those pursuing environmental, social, and governmental investments (so-called ESG Investing).

REI's New Product Impact Standards

REI’s New Product Impact Standards

REI’s new Product Impact Standards for 2021, now include diversity, equity, and inclusion requirements for companies wanting REI shelf space.   The standards include the retailer’s core requirements as well as optional preferred attributes.   REI is an American retail and outdoor recreation services corporation, organized as a consumers’ co-operative.  The retailer sells sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment, and clothing, as well as outdoor-oriented experiences, recreation activities, and courses.

 

Back in 2018, REI had originally devised its product standards to focus on ethical production practices and sustainability.  As part of this update, REI has also added two new programs to its list of preferred attributes—a collection of voluntary business certifications that vendor brands are encouraged to pursue, such as for certifications for aspects of climate and environmental stewardship, chemicals management, and animal welfare.

 

REI’s product impact standards are part of the emerging interest among global investors to evaluate environmental, social and governance issues (so called ESG Investing) when investing and operating.   REI’s dedication to sustainable and ethical production, diversity, equity, and inclusion are precisely what ESG Investing seeks to encourage.

 

According to an article by SNEWS, the outdoor recreation retailer consulted with brands of various sizes and product categories, as well as with more than a dozen DEI nonprofits, advocates, and ambassadors.   The advice from such third-parties included feasibility considerations.  SNEW is an outdoor industry publication of Pocket Outdoor Media Inc.

 

The full December 9, 2020 article by SNEWS is available at this link, along with with reference to the full document describing these REI standards:  REI holds vendors accountable for climate and DEI practices with new product standards

Rep. Haaland Nominated to Lead Interior Dept.

Rep. Haaland Nominated for Interior Department

Rep. Haaland is nominated to lead the Interior Department.   With Senate confirmation, Rep. Haaland will become the first Native American to serve as Cabinet secretary.

 

President-elect Joe Biden nominated Rep. Debra Haaland to helm the U.S. Department of the Interior, a federal agency forever linked with the history of Native Americans since the nation’s founding.   The Albuquerque Journal has reported that Haaland’s nomination reflects Biden’s commitment to address the historical mistreatment of Native Americans including violations of treaty obligations.

 

The Interior Department administers roughly 500 million acres of public lands and plays a key policy role on tribal issues.   In her role, Rep. Debra Haaland’s Interior Department will oversee two key tribal offices – the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) and the Bureau of Indian Education.  The U.S. Interior Department was first established in 1849, actually established after the BIA was first established in 1824 – the oldest agency within the Department of the Interior.

 

Rep. Haaland is a Laguna Pueblo member and is well-known for her leadership roles in tribal government, administration, and economic development programs and enterprises.  Laguna Pueblo is a federally-recognized tribe of Native American Pueblo people situated to the west of metro Albuquerque, New Mexico.   The Laguna Pueblo tribal reservation includes approximately 500,000 acres of land situated in Cibola, Valencia, Bernalillo and Sandoval counties.

 

A full article regarding U.S. Rep. Haaland being nominated to lead the Interior Department, is available at the Albuquerque Journal:  Haaland gets historic Cabinet nomination

 

 

Rep. Haaland is Nominated to Lead the Interior Department

The U.S. Interior Department administers roughly 500 million acres of public lands, involving a myriad of environmental, energy, and public access issues and concerns.

North America's Borders Remain Closed

North America’s Borders Remain Closed

North America’s borders remain closed through January 21, 2021, limiting border crossings to “essential trade only” between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.   The mutually-agreed extension has been made on a month by month basis during 2020, and has been in place since March of this year.

 

The border closure is due to Covid-19 cases on both sides of each border, and the interest of each country in protecting their citizens.   The national health agencies and ministries, and health officers, for each country are part of the decision-making for these restrictions.  Each country is looking to relevant data and protective health measures that seem to be working.

 

So-called border crossing due to “essential trade” activity is allowed under the provisions of the agreed restrictions, between the U.S. and Canada, and between Mexico and the U.S.   While essential economic development and various business activities continue, cross-border tourist activities to any number of visitor destinations have been decimated.

 

Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will be part of the next consideration of these border restrictions.  Biden is set to take office on January 20, and the current border restrictions come due for consideration on January 21st.

 

A full article in Travel Pulse from December 11, 2020 indicating that North America’s borders remain closed, is available at this link:

 

US, Canada and Mexico Land Border Restrictions Extended

Planned Community Consultants

Golf Courses Remain a Focus for Redevelopment

Golf courses remain a focus for redevelopment and repurposing as property owners explore greater highest-and-best use for their golf assets.

 

The interest in such redevelopment is straight-forward.  Golf courses were overbuilt in the U.S. and in some global regions, and the 2008 recession decimated many golf owner’s financial resources.   At the same time golf participation has steadily declined year over year, at least through 2019 (there is an exception in 2020 due to Covid-19).  With this confluence of economic difficulties and ever-changing consumer preferences for their leisure-time activities, in many instances golf course assets offered a tantalizing opportunity for adaptive re-use and repurposing.  For many cities and communities with increasing interest in local economic development and specific agendas such as affordable (if not more inclusionary) housing, these golf assets are particularly ripe for highest-and-best-use consideration.

 

The mega project proposed by Hines for Riverwalk Golf Course in San Diego, will likely spur even greater interest in golf course redevelopment.   Golf courses are often situated within attractive residential communities, with reasonable roadway access and ingress/egress for feasible re-purposing as residential projects.   Hines found such an opportunity with the Riverwalk site in a decidedly “best case” way – the Riverwalk golf course just happens to be so well-located within its region that it can support substantial mixed-use redevelopment.  Hines has proposed such a mega redevelopment project there, which could see in excess of $1 billion in new development.

 

For more information about golf course redevelopment, we have started tracking such projects as part of our ongoing client project research.   We expect golf courses to remain a focus for redevelopment, for some time to come.   StoneCreek Partners also tracks other major real estate asset classes, with some of our research and tracking published here online.   The link is available  here:

 

Golf Course Redevelopment – the Latest

 

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