Coworking space

Milan plans to adopt the 15-minute city model

Milan plans to adopt the 15-minute city model

Here the focus will be on coworking spaces

The Milan City Council organized an online meeting-conference in order to present and discuss recent studies on the possibility to implement the so-called ‘15-minute city model’ of development. In that sense, the authorities are willing to copy recent innovations in urban living that have been experimented with in Paris and in some Swedish cities. The online meeting, called ‘Working close to home - Coworking and Near working for the city in 15 minutes', included representatives from the administration, academia, business and trade unions and discussed the results of three separate studies.

Key points:  polycentrism, proximity, hybridization

Cristina Tajani, the local Councilor of Labour, was the organizer of the meeting and she described its purpose: “We want to be the first Administration to experiment with new places and new ways of working that are in tune with the construction of a 15-minute Milan and contribute to redesigning the way of living and enjoying the city and its post-pandemic services.

Smartworking will accompany us even after the health emergency. We must therefore work on collective bargaining and public policies capable of limiting the negative effects, such as domestic confinement, and emphasize the positive ones, such as saving time when travelling and the best reconciliation between life and work times”.

The reports that were presented all focused on coworking as the main departure point.

The first study found that in Italy coworking is mainly an urban phenomenon, with Milan taking the lead in the availability of such spaces and with the conclusion that most of these were located in the peripheries which allowed for easy reach on a bicycle in less than 15 minutes. This would present a great hint on creating a polycentric urban development that is more distributed and takes away pressure from downtown areas.

The second report revealed that although more than half of the coworking spaces had lost clients during the pandemic, many of them reported an increase in new clients coming from their proximity and neighbourhood. That means, firms and freelancers that wanted to break away from the routine of working at home and find an office space nearby.

The third survey stressed what possibly lied ahead for coworking spaces. In order to make them more adaptable and popular, it was offered that they could become hybrid centres which offered not only an office but also training and learning areas.

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