Luxury Outlook 2022
An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.
La ville du quart d’heure. No, it’s not a place—it’s a new paradigm of urban planning, which translates to “the 15-minute city”.
The concept was created by Carlos Moreno, a Professor and Scientific Director at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, with the aim of reimagining today’s sprawling metropolises as sustainable, communitarian neighborhoods where residents can meet all their needs within a five minute bike ride or a 15-minute stroll.
A 15-minute city must have diversity in terms of its local amenities, density in terms of its land use, proximity in terms of the distances between destinations, and ubiquity so that anyone who wants to live in a 15-minute city is able to.
Luxury metropolitan living has always been centered around variety, vitality, and convenience, which is precisely what the 15-minute city provides. So as you contemplate your future property, consider one of these forward-looking hubs where parks, shops, and services are just outside your door.
The French capital has become the poster child for the 15-minute city after Mayor Anne Hidalgo came to office in 2014. She set straight to work blocking traffic from the quays of the Seine and all high-polluting vehicles from the streets, and revitalizing urban parks and schoolyards—and she formalized her 15-minute city strategy when she renewed her mandate in 2020. Carlos Moreno is now Paris City Hall’s special envoy for smart cities.
This luxe three bedroom apartment in the eighth arrondissement is surrounded by exceptional places to wine, dine, and shop, being right in the heart of Faubourg St.-Honoré. With its bright, full-length windows opening onto capacious balconies and offering views of some of the city’s most extraordinary mansions and monuments, this residence is a true work of art and equipped with contemporary finishings and furnishings.
Cities worldwide may be trying to devise more effective, economic, and environmentally-friendly layouts, but the municipalities of the Netherlands have long been ahead of the curve. In many Dutch communities, businesses, parks, and public services are networked with bike lanes and walking paths that turn urban centers into self-sufficient neighborhoods. Laren, located in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, is a perfect—and picturesque—example.
This duplex penthouse preserves the heritage charm of the Hamdorff building with its intricate craftsmanship and architectural accents, but is just steps away from shops, restaurants, and a beautiful public park.
When Milan set out to remodel itself as a 15-minute city, one of the main objectives was to ensure all residents had easy access to essential services, such as healthcare. It then expanded its vision, reclaiming once-congested roadways and repurposing them for pedestrians, cyclists, and new open air space for shops, bars, and restaurants. Milan was already one of the world’s liveliest cities; now, it’s even livelier.
That energy and vigor is epitomized in this contemporary loft, which features five bedrooms and five full bathrooms. With its classic courtyard, Turkish bath and sauna, and capacious wine cellar accessible via a private freight elevator, this property spares no expense—and shares a neighborhood with iconic cultural institutions such as the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Duomo di Milano.
Spain’s second most populous city embraced the 15-minute city concept—and more specifically, it embraced “superblocks”, ensuring that as much as possible, everyone has everything they need for work, life, and leisure within 400 square meters.
This residence has everything a top-end luxury home needs within 4,400 square feet. Radiant Barcelona tiles are juxtaposed with state-of-the-art fixtures and appliances, bringing together the old and the new right in the heart of the historic city. Amenities include a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen, and expansive deck, a private gym, and a personal atelier.
The “urban villages” that make up Seattle have long imbued the city with unique charm and vibrant individuality. Now, the municipality is investing in new ways to ensure that residents of these areas have what they need to earn, learn, enjoy, and engage without the need for noisy traffic and long commutes.
Out of all Seattle’s urban neighborhoods, Pioneer Square is one of the most coveted, which makes this penthouse loft extra desirable. The dark hardwood and exposed brick creates an elegant, modern ambience, and two separate floors host entertainment spaces, a spa bath and dry sauna, and a 500 square-foot terrace with views overlooking the city and the sea.
Some cities are modifying the 15-minute framework to better meet the specific needs of their citizens—just look at Singapore. The city-state already has enough density to ensure that services, entertainment, and amenities are situated in close proximity. Now, it’s embarking on novel ways to network everything so that the whole metropolis becomes a complete “45-minute city,” that will start by enhancing its already world-class public transportation and adding more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) of cycling tracks.
The view from this “super penthouse” shows just how close it is to the city’s most famous landmarks, encompassing the Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer, and the Singapore Sports Hub. Not even the splendor of that vista can compare with this property’s unique features, including a made-to-order chandelier by glass artist Nathalie Ziegler, a Kaldewei freestanding Meisterstuck Soundwave bathtub, an elegant rocking chair by British-Israeli designer Ron Arad, and a rare blue diamond by World of Diamonds.
The philosophy of the 15-minute city is known as “chrono-urbanism”—planning a municipality so that people can make the most of their time, instead of spending their days in transit. Unique properties like these help to carry that philosophy to its logical conclusion, providing an environment—inside as well as outside the home—where every moment is priceless.
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