Before the launch

A look at the sharing city phenomenon, from December 2014

Would a city be possible, where every citizens has access to all products and services necessary to live a prosperous, connected, sustainable and happy life?

During 2014 the network in Amsterdam expanded, and the idea for sharing cities developed globally. Progress made in Seoul had not been paralleled by any other city around the globe. The possibilities of the “sharing city” however, have spread wide- ly. One of the accelerators is grassroots organisation Shareable, which is a “non-profit news, action and connection hub for the sharing transformation” (Shareable.net, 2015). This organisation has kick-started “sharing activists” all around the globe to start making their cities more shareable. This was done through events, a policy guide and a sharing cities toolkit, which is an evolving compilation of resources comprised of a mix of how-tos, project guides, sample policies and tried and true models and advice.8 Thus far, peo- ple from 54 cities around the globe (35 from the USA) have started to devel- op their “sharing city”. However, due to the grassroots approach it is unclear if, and when other stakeholders, including local governments, in those cities will take steps to join the initiative to develop a sharing city together. Euro- pean-based grassroots organisation OuiShare has developed a similar toolkit called “Sharitories”. The focus of this toolkit is more on regions than cities and offers local policymakers who wish to implement collaborative or shar- ing initiatives in their local areas the tools to do so. Last but not least, the United States Conference of Mayors signed a resolution in support of policies for shareable cities at their annual conference in June 2013.9

Collaborative economy marketplace Airbnb has started its own “shared city” scheme by partnering with Portland in March 2014. As part of this part- nership, Airbnb will be “expanding its community’s positive impact in Port- land by collaborating on campaigns to attract sustainable forms of tourism, send visitors to local businesses, and support disaster relief programs. Air- bnb will also collect and remit taxes to the city of Portland on behalf of its hosts and make it easy for Portland hosts to donate the money they earn from Airbnb to a local cause, matching those donations as a percentage of its fees.”

Even though the idea of a sharing city has spread widely and both grass- roots organisations and governments are making an effort, no other city has followed the example of Seoul hitherto, except for Amsterdam.

Global Sharing City developments

Role shareable.. > Shareable Policy Primer

Cities in the United States line up

The United States Conference of Mayors. A body consisting of the mayors of all United Stated with more than 30.000 inhabitants sign a Sharing City Resolution to make their cities more shareable:

"Now therefore be it resolved,
that The United States Conference of Mayors urges
support for making cities more shareable by (1) encouraging a better
understanding of the Sharing Economy and its benefits
to both the public and private sectors by creating
more robust and standardized methods for measuring its impacts in
cities; (2) creating local task forces to review and address
regulations that may hinder participants in the Sharing Economy
and proposing revisions that ensure public protection as well;
and (3) playing an active role in making appropriate publicly
owned assets available for maximum utilization by the general
public through proven sharing mechanisms (usmayors.org)."

“Cities that can take advantage of platforms available for collaborative consumption [sharing platforms] which tap into vast new opportunities to create jobs, attract talent, promote local investment and community-building, and offer a healthier place to live” —Young Global Leaders Sharing Economy Working Group.