Quartiere birreria (brewery neighbourhood), birth of a new community
“The quarter-of-an-hour city”. That’s what they called the planning project to make Paris more livable and accessible to its citizens.
The reason for the name? Being able to have access to everything one needs within 15 minutes of home, on foot or by bicycle. The idea taken on by the transalpine municipal administration came from a teacher at the Sorbonne, Carlos Moreno, who based it on this consideration: «We live in fragmented cities, where often we work far from home and don’t even know our neighbours».
ities today are composed of specialist areas with a central nucleus. Moreno imagines a sustainable, multi-functional, polycentric city.
What does this ambitious project from France and similar attempts to transform city life from Portland to Barcelona tell us? The “Ville du quart d’heure”- the quarter-of-an-hour city – demonstrates, as the major metropolises are rediscovering the value of the district dimension, the advantages of living in a community of relationships and vicinity to others, which is able to offer everything to hand, or rather, to foot.
The Helvetic reality, starting from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, has always been based on hamlets, villages and towns with a robust identity.
Places with a strong sense of belonging and independence, that have tried to offer as many services as possible to those who choose to remain living in their native territory. In the alpine and pre-alpine areas, the concept of urban trends has never been abandoned.
A model is able to continue being current, if it also supplies infrastructure and services adapted to contemporary demands and needs, as well as offering a renewed sense of community. For example? We shouldn’t bring back the village wash house, but instead think about a communal laundry for the district. The future is rediscovering the values of the past with today’s technology. And therefore we should be thinking about the modern demands of co-working, smart working, services brought to our homes. The home, the district, or rather, the area where you live, the place you hold dear, becomes ever more important.