From Sharing to Sharing Economy: The World Economic Forum’s report on collaboration practices in cities

  • economy

Four EUROCITIES member cities are featured in a new report that examines how cities can leverage the potential of the sharing economy in use of municipal goods, spaces, and civic assets such as the talents and skills of city residents.

Published by the World Economic Forum’s Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative, ‘Collaboration in Cities: From Sharing to Sharing Economy’ also looks at the vocabulary of the new sharing economy and illustrates its main features (its key actors, key drivers, what is being shared in cities), and shows cities how to engage and drive sharing practices.
The report covers case studies from 10 cities around the world where sharing economy practices have been tested and implemented. The four EUROCITIES members are: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna, London.
These are EUROCITIES members’ sharing practices showcased in the report:
  • -       Amsterdam has set up a project to spread the advantages of the sharing economy to those likely to be excluded, focusing on senior citizens and low-income households. It has connect its sharing platforms to the City Pass, which senior citizens and those on low incomes can get for free. In 2017 the city started with the meal-sharing platform Thuisafgehaald (translated as TakeAwayfromHome), enabling City Pass holders to get a free or highly discounted meal from home cooks in their neighbourhood.
  • In Barcelona, the Programme of Time and Caring Economy is driving a time bank project in cooperation with the community network of neighbourhoods and Associació Salut i Família (Health and Family Association). Time is exchanged between people doing everyday tasks: for example, taking care of a sick child, reading books to old people, helping with school homework, taking care of domestic pets or plants, repairing things.
  • In 2014, Bologna adopted a regulation on the collaboration between citizens and the city for the care and regeneration of the urban commons, and launched The city as a commons project. The regulation encouraged the creation of hyperlocal institutions for urban co-governance such as community cooperatives, neighbourhood foundations and block consortia, with technical and financial support provided by the city government. The aim is to promote citizen action in social innovation and collaborative services, urban creativity, digital innovation, collaborative communication and collaborative tools and practices that encourage urban common-ing.
  • London has launched Crowdfund London, an experiment for a more collaborative approach to regeneration. Groups of citizens can propose project ideas directly to City Hall, and gain access to funding and support to realize them. The programme is administered by online crowdfunding platform Spacehive, which presents ideas and their funding targets and invites the public to ‘pledge’ towards them.
The report demonstrates several challenges of the sharing economy and how shows how sharing could be regulated. It addresses externalities related to the sharing economy, focusing on issues of establishing trust and ensuring security on sharing online platforms, the uncertain effects of sharing at a global scale on social equality and inclusivity, and provides recommendations.
The full report is available here.