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The plan for regionalised cities improves sustainability in major cities. Typically, a person who lives outside of the city centre would rely on transport to reach day-to-day locations. However, in a compact city, this is not necessary as all daily destinations are reachable within walking or cycling distance of one another. Therefore, improving quality-of-life for residents. Especially because pedestrianised areas will be enhanced across their neighbourhood.
Removing the need to drive to a location, helps reduced carbon emissions in the city. Many cities will then be able to reach net zero carbon emissions. Reaching net zero carbon emissions is a goal set by the UK Government. Manchester has achieved zero carbon emissions, in part due to its adoption of residential regions. This has not been achieved by banning motor vehicles or making locations inaccessible by transport. Rather by enhancing amenities throughout the city, making residents less likely to travel via transport.
What Needs to be Accessible?
In order to make a 15-minute city successful, it must have all essential amenities in close proximity. To enhance pedestrianised areas, cities aim to deliver larger pavements, more green spaces, and cycle paths must be introduced. These locations include:
Modern cities were built during an era when people would come into the city centre to visit trade markets. Once the industrial revolution began, investment was made into central locations. This meant that city centre areas expanded over time, to accommodate the high levels of footfall. However, modern cities now cover a much larger area, and this requires a change in structure. The planned compact neighbourhoods will revitalise areas in major cities further afield from the city centre.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, workplaces have become far more flexible with many people benefiting from hybrid working. This has increased the needs of the residents in a wider region, for a much stronger local infrastructure. Meanwhile, the impact on businesses has seen some key businesses move outside of city centres to cut costs. As a result, some workers are travelling further to get to their place of work.
As cities look to implement the 15-minute city concept, the living conditions for residents in the suburbs improve. This benefits the property market as improved facilities are widespread across the city, making each region far more attractive for potential buyers or tenants. The plans will not reduce the development of city centres but instead, bring more opportunities and increased investment outside of central areas.
A fantastic example of a compact city is Leeds, where work is underway on the city’s 20-minute neighbourhood project. Inspired by a similar project in Paris, Leeds has identified areas in which they can improve amenities available for residents. Key to the project is adding to the local infrastructure. This has already seen a positive effect on property prices over the past year, as Zoopla reported an 8% growth year-on-year.
The 15-minute city concept is great for investors, as it means properties in major cities outside of the centre are far more attractive. Landlords will benefit from increased demand as the quality of life is improved in each area. Therefore, properties in these dense and compact cities will become far more desirable.
As a result, property prices will grow as local infrastructure is improved. Furthermore, rental demand will rise, as tenants will have more options for areas to live in. Enhanced quality living and local amenities are two huge factors for tenants when choosing a new property. this will certainly strengthen the position of property investors who choose to invest in compact cities.
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