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What Chilean Cities Can Learn From the "15-minute City" Paris – Reports Kapsch TrafficCom

·2-min read

81 percent of Chilean citizens urgently want to reduce emissions from road traffic. 82 percent blame noise, air pollution and other burdens for health problems – these are findings of the representative survey "Kapsch TrafficCom Index 2020". New concepts such as the "15-minute City" in Paris point the way to prolonging people's experiences with cleaner air and less traffic in post-corona times.

The negative effects of road traffic have returned very quickly to the political agenda after the lockdown during the corona crisis. While in Santiago a plan to reassign spaces for pedestrians and cyclists has been implemented in a busy downtown area, in Europe Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pursuing nothing less than an urban planning revolution with her concept of the "15-minute City": Parisians should be able to reach everything they need for life from their doorstep within fifteen minutes on foot or by bike: grocery stores, health centers, schools, parks and workplaces. To make this possible, Hidalgo’s first step was to block central traffic routes for cars and convert them into bicycle expressways.

What we can learn from the "15-minute City"

"The city of Paris has succeeded in reacting quickly to the corona crisis with a new mobility concept that makes social distancing possible on the streets," says Emilio Rivas, Executive Vice President Sales of Kapsch TrafficCom for Latin America. "The concept of the 15-minute City contains many important cornerstones, but it’s an approach for the long term that may take a long time to implement. There are intelligent transportation systems available today though, that are more effective to help keep traffic related emissions at the current levels and further reduce them in the future. They can bring quick results while also laying the basis for flexible long-term changes."

Many future-oriented cities are pursuing the goal of clearing the streets for bicycles and pedestrians. "But if traffic is just shifted to other city routes, the positive impact won’t be noticeable," explains Rivas. For this reason, the expert recommends introducing a digitally connected mobility management approach. This includes, for example, traffic light control systems which automatically adapt to the current traffic situation.

In pilot cities, it would reduce congestion times by up to 25 percent.

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Carolin Treichl
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