Cities and the Sharing Economy
Local Governments and the Sharing Economy is a roadmap helping local governments strategically engage to foster more sustainable cities. It’s also useful to audiences including city staff, local politicians, sustainability practitioners and Sharing Economy innovators, Sharing Economy critics and supporters.
The next few years are critical for determining how cities respond to the Sharing Economy, however, uncertainty clouds the way. This roadmap offers four main tools as outlined below to help local governments address challenges and, perhaps more importantly, understand how to get ahead of the curve and harness the Sharing Economy to advance sustainability. It includes many examples and case studies from cities across North America, and some from the global community.
The roadmap offers three key messages:
- The Sharing Economy is not inherently sustainable but cities can help to make it more so.
- Community sharing (time-banks, lending libraries, repair cafes, etc.) is a promising area where local governments can play proactive, enabling roles.
- Addressing data gaps is critical for understanding sustainability impacts on cities.
The also roadmap provides four main tools to help local governments:
- Defining the Sharing Economy: Analyzes different definitions of the sharing economy and provides one tailored to local government.
- Sustainability Filter and Sharing Economy Analysis Picture: Describes a sustainability filter with six questions to help local governments prioritize involvement in the Sharing Economy, which is then used to analyze, in depth: shared mobility, shared spaces, shared goods, and community sharing. And to a lighter degree: shared food, and shared energy. Sustainability impacts and recommendations for local governments are summarized.
- Strategic Opportunities for Local Governments: Describes key strategic ways that local governments can enable the sharing economy to advance sustainable cities given limited resources. Examples include: enable community sharing; address data gaps; focus and align; lead by example; commit to equity; and develop systematic and integrated approaches over time.
- Sharing Economy Resources: Provides a list of sharing economy experts and networks and recommended reading and a sample of local government materials including ordinances and bylaws.