Exploring the “15-minute city” and near working in Milan using mobile phone data

Keywords: Remote working, Covid-19 pandemic, 15-minute city, Coworking spaces, Near working, Milan, TIM mobile phone data


This paper investigates the changes in neighbourhood attractiveness during the Covid-19 pandemic (2020) compared to the year before in 2019 in the city of Milan. Central neighbourhoods recorded a drop in users from -63% to -47%, while the peripheral areas showed a relatively steady presence during the day. Indeed, remote working and the fear of public transport led to rethinking commuting and re-value working close to home. Semi-peripheral and peripheral neighbourhoods have gained a renewed role in attracting remote workers, and coworking spaces represent a valuable alternative for those willing to improve work-life balance through near working. Within this context, the paper aims to:(i) measure the presence of remote workers at the neighbourhood level; (ii) explore the accessibility to coworking spaces within 15 minutes of walking and cycling distance; (iii) focus on three peripheral neighbourhoods which show the lowest number of city users loss, do not host CSs, and present different levels of essential services and access to subway stations. The three cases are explored to understand whether they are considered feasible locations for hosting a neighbourhood coworking space. The change of the city users' presence in the Milan neighbourhoods in 2019-2020 is analysed using «TIM Big Data – Data Visual Insight», which includes the presence and mobility of the TIM mobile network’s users.


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Author Biographies

Ilaria Mariotti, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano

Ph.D. in Economic Geography and Ph.D.in Transportation Economics, she is an associate professor in Urban and Regional Economics at DAStU. Her research focuses on firm location, the geography of work, and new working spaces. She is Chair of the Cost Action 18214 and Responsible for Politecnico di Milano of the Coral ITN Marie Curie Project.

Viviana Giavarini, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano

She has a degree in Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano. She works in the Mapping and Urban Data Lab of the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano where she develops data analysis and mapping activities to support research aimed at analyzing urban and social transformations.

Federica Rossi, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano

Ph.D. in Economics, she is postdoctoral research fellow in Economics at Politecnico di Milano - DAStU, and adjunct professor at Università degli Studi di Milano. Her research interests include topics in transport and regional economics, such as firms’ location and relocation choices, remote working, high-speed railway projects and accessibility.

Mina Akhavan, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano

She is Postdoctoral Fellow at Politecnico di Milano - DAStU, where she received her PhD degree in Spatial Planning and Urban Development (2015). Her research interests include port-city studies; globalization trends and logistics network; new working spaces, and mobility planning and policy.


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How to Cite
MariottiI., GiavariniV., RossiF., & AkhavanM. (2022). Exploring the “15-minute city” and near working in Milan using mobile phone data. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 39-56. https://doi.org/10.6093/1970-9870/9309
Mobile phone data for exploring spatio-temporal transformations in contemporary