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Imagine a municipality with a core area consisting largely or exclusively of footpaths and bicycle paths, with personal car ownership disallowed. Buses—presumably all-electric—provide transportation to destinations outside of the city’s core. The zoning is mixed, meaning that all your work and residential needs are mostly or completely encapsulated in the core area. Stores, shops and other amenities are all supposed to be within fifteen minutes of your front door. In some quarters of the urban design field, this concept is called “the 15-minute city.”
Urban planner Dan Luscher, writing at the website 15MinuteCity.com, noted:
Cities as different as Paris, Melbourne, and Portland, Oregon are working to reimagine [themselves] using [more] walk/bike travel time. Many more cities have long-term goals to increase walking and biking to improve urban life and reduce carbon emissions.
The 15-minute city framework is great for a long-term urban plan. But effective implementation—the difficult but gratifying work of transforming our cities and neighborhoods—is what really matters. For urban areas to reach their full potential, 15-minute city efforts must be widespread, ambitious, and effective.
Walkable and bikeable neighborhoods need to be the norm, not the exception [. . .]
[Let’s] start by looking at where an individual lives and where they need to [go] and figure out how to retool our neighborhoods and cities to get the kind of “hyperproximity” and ease of access that makes urban living great. Discussions of urban mobility and “unclogging” cities often focus on travel speeds: enabling people to travel significant distances in short periods of time.
This focus is misplaced. [The] history of cities—and of work commutes—shows that as travel speeds increase, our cities spread out. We end up spending as much time traveling as before, only at faster speeds over longer distances [. . .] If our planning focuses on REDUCING the need to travel, we may be able to avoid constantly ADDING costly transport infrastructure in a losing battle against traffic congestion and overcrowded buses [emphasis in original].
That admittedly makes some sense, and few city dwellers who freely choose that urban lifestyle would argue with the proposition of having their apartment, place of employment, pharmacy and grocery stores, etc., all within walking and biking distance. Traditional taxi services, or relative newcomers such as Uber and Lyft, evidently would play an auxiliary role in achieving this vision, though some urban planners would strictly limit accessibility even to these popular options in city centres.
Global Cities connections
While the concepts being floated—presumably to make cities better places to live in—may have a certain appeal, the world's major think tanks, supported by hyper-wealthy individuals and corporate sponsors, are pushing “Global Cities” concepts incessantly, amid their predictions that increasing numbers of people will abandon rural living and become the new proletariat in stack-and-pack cities (see another story on Global Cities developments I wrote nearly five years ago). Thus, there is a dark corner in these schemes to transform city cores.
This dark zone consists of globalist individuals and entities with familiar names under the umbrella of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. That group today is comprised of the councils of 96 cities, representing one-twelfth of the world's population and a quarter of the global economy.
“Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on fighting climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens,” the online encyclopedia Wikipedia states, adding that in 2019:
Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti [note by author Mark Anderson: whose often-despotic Covid lockdowns largely mirrored those imposed at state level by California Governor Gavin Newsom] served as the C40's chairperson [and] former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg as president of the board [. . .]|
[They worked] closely with the 13-member steering committee, the board of directors and professional staff. The rotating steering committee of C40 mayors provides strategic direction and governance. Steering committee members include: Accra, Bogota, Boston, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Dhaka, Dubai, Durban, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Seattle, and Stockholm.
As long ago as October 2005, then-London Mayor Ken Livingstone convened representatives from eighteen megacities to create a pact to cooperatively reduce “climate pollution”, which to the globalists largely means one of the crucial gases of life itself, carbon dioxide. Thus, the C20 was christened as such in 2006. Livingstone and the Clinton Climate Initiative—led by former President Bill Clinton—combined to strengthen both organizations, bringing the number of network cities to 40, and so the label “C40” stuck.
The idea is for participating cities to engage in projects to further enhance “carbon-emissions reduction”. While C40 is currently chaired by ultra-globalist, anti-Brexit London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Mr Bloomberg served as chair from 2010 to 2013, during which C40 grew far beyond its nominal number to encompass 63 cities.
In December 2013, former Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes became C40 chairman, overseeing the addition of more than twenty of these new-joining cities. He also helped launch the Compact of Mayors, which became the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy—a group tied to the Global Cities movement that I have been following for American Free Press and other outlets since its 2016 inception.
In 2015—as C40 marked its tenth anniversary—one thousand mayors, local representatives, and community leaders from around the world took part in the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, hosted by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change (Michael Bloomberg being the then occupant of that position) during the UN Climate Change Conference.
In August 2016, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo became C40's first chairwoman. Back in 2008, she was in charge of town planning and architecture as first Deputy Mayor under Bertrand Delanoe.
Notably, in her second mayoral term, amid the “Covid pandemic”, Hidalgo went beyond nightly curfews and closure of “non-essential” shops and introduced 31 miles (50 km) of “coronapistes,” or pop-up cycle lanes, to ease pressure on public transport systems. Moreover, by early 2021, the socialist mayor’s policies had gained international attention, including her audacious proposal to remove more than half of Paris’ car parking spaces while converting the Champs-Élysées into a “fantastic garden.”
Recent history aside, Paris is—according to the now-infamous World Economic Forum, under Mayor Hidalgo—destined to become a “15-minute city [. . .] the aim is to cut car use, resulting in fewer CO2 emissions and cleaner air.”
The WEF also touts, for example, that Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, has turned its historic centre into “a car-free paradise”. Granted, a visit to Mackinac Island, Michigan, or the Channel Island of Sark, or other places where cars are banned can be a pleasant break from routine and has many desirable attributes; and more people on bikes and walking could have considerable health dividends, such as reducing obesity and boosting immunity. Nevertheless, no-car policy is a matter of the larger political context and what such a policy means for one’s ultimate freedom of mobility, not to mention whether city residents will ever get to vote on such dramatic changes, let alone whether such massive changes are even lawful under city charters or the statutory remit of city councils.
Moreover, will unvaccinated people be segregated on the buses? And, as Scottish-born citizen journalist Neil Foster speculated in correspondence with me, might “habitation zones” arise, from which those defined as “health dissidents” or political “undesirables” won’t be allowed to leave—save with special permission? Brian Gerrish has recalled in past UK Column News broadcasts that, dystopian as it may seem, this very vision for the future was being discussed in terms within Plymouth City Council in the early 2000s.
Given the recent history of jackbooted Covid lockdowns like those in Australia, and the Orwellian character of the WEF’s meddlesome policies that have wormed their way—by WEF founder Klaus Schwab’s own admission—into federal-level cabinets, such as Canada’s, this is not a silly question.
Forthcoming October summit
Notably, the next C40 World Mayors Summit, which takes place every three years, will be hosted by Buenos Aires, Argentina on 19–22 October 2022 as a hybrid in-person/virtual event. C40.org has announced:
The Summit will bring together mayors of world-leading cities, alongside business leaders, global influencers [sic], philanthropists, campaigners, youth leaders, scientists and residents, to showcase the work cities are doing to deliver effective climate solutions and demonstrate what a strong global coalition united on radical climate action can achieve.
The organizers note that other names for such city schemes include “human-scale city,” “complete neighborhoods,” “20-minute neighborhoods,” “vital neighborhoods” and “superblock”.
Using additional “globalese” language, C40 literature adds that “[t]he 15-minute city can help us live with Covid-19 and build back better,” with the mayors and leaders of C40’s now 96 member cities planning to chart an unrealistic path toward “net-zero emissions”.
The pursuit of this dream cannot help but put widespread car use well on the way to oblivion, unless the world’s peoples—already alerted to the stark reality of overt tyranny via Covid crackdowns—use their heightened awareness of, and insights into, tyranny’s machinations and rise up to counter such fanatical schemes.