Carlos Moreno refers to this incessant race against the clock to justify his visions of urban planning based around a quarter of an hour. Over the course of the last few decades and the development of new technologies, we have become used to getting immediate answers whatever the distance. Firstly it was an immediate response by mail instead of two or three days later by letter, then instant images, live videos and now instant goods and services. There is no longer any day or night, week or weekend on these e-commerce platforms … no opening or closing times at all in fact. The only time that counts now is the delivery time in relation to our own schedule, and not the opening hours of the service provider or retailer.
The urban planner and researcher spoke of "towns in continuous time", "multi-rhythmed", which requires having everything close to hand. Once again, this dates from before Covid-19. But someone’s misfortune is another man’s joy. These days and weeks in 2020 have been suspended in time and have enabled us to rediscover the pleasures of proximity, of all that is local. The pleasure of renewed contact with neighbours in the same building or local retailers… Discussions have resumed and often last more than 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter. After all, in times gone by, good manners dictated that city dwellers were always quarter of an hour late so as not to rush their hosts.
Text : Frédéric Martin-Bernard
Photos : camille-brodard sur Unsplash, Carlos Moreno