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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).

Marne-la-Vallée Master Plan

Marne-la-Vallée Master Plan

The Marne-la-Vallée master plan was part of an overall new town economic development plan to relieve urban development pressures on Paris.  Our work noted here was conducted by a predecessor company in which our co-founder was a partner.   Our work in connection with the Marne-la-Vallée master plan included the land use planning and strategic business planning support for client Walt Disney Co.

 

The strategic business planning work included product concepting and financial analysis for various sections of the master land use plan, including specific feasibility issues raised by client’s  strategic planning department.  Work performed also included overall land development consulting analysis such as land residual valuations – a means of depicting build-out value for various master plan and build-out scenarios, as well as financial studies of alternative routings of planning golf course facilities.

 

Marne-la-Vallée is a new town, an economic development strategy for the greater Paris region of France.   It is about a 50-minute drive (by auto) from the center of the Marne-la-Vallée new town master plan which includes Paris Disneyland, over to central Paris (at or about Pont Neuf).   By metro the trip is about one-half the time by automobile.  The Marne-la-Vallée project was one of five new towns envisioned in the early 1960’s, and emerged among these other concept new towns as the largest.

 

The new town was intended to take some of the urban development pressure away from Paris and place a new focus in a new location.  Paris Disneyland was the business “anchor” for propelling the start and growth of the new town region.   From a population of Marne-la-Vallée has a current population of more than 280,000 residents.  The Marne-la-Vallée master plan called for a potential of 500,000 residents at full build-out.

 

Other major institutions that located in this new town include Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée and École des Ponts ParisTech, among numerous others.  The Descartes Cluster is also situated in Marne-la-Vallée new town, the largest concentration in France of research centers (50+), higher education organizations and businesses involved in green technologies and city sustainability.

 

The master planning process for Paris Disneyland (then Euro Disneyland) was comprehensive and wide-ranging. Disney’s overall project included master-planning of a major regional theme park and themed entertainment district in the vicinity of the theme park.

Water City Niagara Falls, a Cocov Destinations Niagara property

Water City Resort Niagara Falls (Ontario) – Conceptual Design

aec  Cocov Destinations (Toronto)  |  Location based entertainment consultants for massing and vertical structure organization for year-round ski structure with interior sports and recreation venues, major hotel and fractional residence towers, in planning.  An indoor water park and play area is a major component of the project.

 

Water City Niagara Falls consists of 51 acres situated in the heart of downtown Niagara Falls (Ontario) and proximate to the Niagara River. The land is relative flat and suitable for development without significant mitigation required. The scale of the Project site is somewhat unique given the urbanized nature of much of the city of Niagara Falls. The site is a former Canadian National Railway (“CNR”) property.  Canadian National Railroad’s operation at the Subject Property and the bridge, dates to predecessor rail companies beginning with a grant of charter in 1834 (to London & Gore Railroad). That rail charter became the first railway across southern Ontario.

 

The Property was acquired by Cocov Development Co. in 2015, through two special purpose legal entities formed for this purpose.

 

At client request, the images shown here include limited details only.  a product of aec‘s Rapid Prototyping Unit, combining feasibility results with preliminary project scaling, layout, and overall guest experiential design – created to assist Ownership group in confirming design intent and project budgets.

 

 

 

casino gaming consultants

Gaming Resort Master Plan – Las Vegas

aec   Confidential Client  |  As casino gaming consultants for the conceptual master planning of 70-acre destination resort just off the Las Vegas Strip, featuring casino gaming, theme hotels, retail-entertainment shops, and sports facilities.

 

Illustration work shown here is a product of aec‘s Rapid Prototyping Unit, combining feasibility results with preliminary project scaling, layout, and overall guest experiential design – created to assist Ownership group in confirming design intent and project budgets.

 

 

 

 

 

Joint Development Strategies for Metro Rail

Joint Development Strategies for Metro-Rail

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority  |  Acted as local government consultants to the City of Los Angeles providing Joint Development Strategies for Metro-Rail development, including financial and market analysis, for so-called “joint pubic-private real estate development opportunities” at potential Los Angeles Metro Rail stations.

 

Joint development refers to commercial development that is encouraged at such stations stops as part of the overall regional economic strategy for such transportation development. Work effort included a market feasibility studies with financial recommendations to document the fiscal economic impact of such joint development strategies.  Our work providing joint development strategies for Metro-Rail also included identification of analogous projects from other regions, and prototypical public-private mixed-use developments at specific Metro Rail stations.

 

Los Angeles Metro Rail is an urban rail system serving Los Angeles County, California, operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  It consists of six lines, including two rapid transit subway lines (the Red and Purple lines) and four light rail lines (the Blue, Green, Gold and Expo lines) serving 93 stations.

 

L.A.’s Metro Rail started service in 1990.  Metro Rail had two predecessors which unfortunately were discontinued for reasons unrelated to ridership success.  The prior rail services were the the famed Pacific Electric Railway Company a/k/a the Red Cars and the Los Angeles Railway Yellow Car lines, which operated between the late 19th century and the 1960’s.  The Red Cars was a privately owned mass transit system in Southern California consisting of electrically powered streetcars, interurban cars, and buses and was the largest electric railway system in the world in the 1920s.   There are still vestiges of the old Red Car system in Los Angeles, visible in the lot lines and building edges that were once situated along the Red Car route alignments.

 

Local government real estate consultants

StoneCreek Partners has acted as local government consultants for real estate development, for an array of federal, state, regional and local municipalities and agencies.

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