Policies For Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Policy Primer For Urban Leaders
In 2009, we first wrote about shareable cities at Shareable, a leader of the global sharing movement: Cities are where we gather, in part, to share basic infrastructure, to so cialize, to satisfy our human instinct to congregate, to make culture together. The call for Shareable Cities simultaneously inspires us to imagine a transformed urban culture but also to notice the invisible ways we already share life all the time. -Chris Carlsson, Shareable author We believed then as we do now, that the sharing economy can democratize access to goods, services, and capital – in fact all the essentials that make for vi- brant markets, commons, and neighborhoods. It’s an epoch shaping opportunity for sustainable urban development that can complement the legacy economy. Resource sharing, peer production, and the free market can empower people to self-provision locally much of what they need to thrive. Yet we’ve learned that current U.S. policies often block resource sharing and peer production. For example, in many cities, laws do not allow the sale of home- grown vegetables to neighbors, donation-based ridesharing services, or short- term room rentals. Even when legacy institutions are failing to serve, which is in- creasingly the case, citizens are not free to share with or produce for each other. New policies are needed to unlock the 21st Century power of cities as engines of freedom, innovation and shared prosperity. In 2011, we partnered with the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) to pub- lish a 15-part series on policies for shareable cities. It was the first published ex- ploration of the topic. This primer is a culmination of that work. As always, SELC did the bulk of the legal research and writing. Shareable contributed editorial direction, project management, and funding. Together we offer you a curated set of policy recommendations on four pocket-book issues and priorities of mayors everywhere – transportation, food, housing, and jobs. In addition, this primer reflects input from dozens of leaders from the worlds of law, government, urban planning, business, and alternative economics. We be- lieve the recommendations appeal to different political orientations and sectors of society. And while the primer focuses on what we know best – policies in U.S. cities – we believe that the examples are relevant to cities the world over. SHAREABLE CITIES POLICY PRIMER 5 As we welcomed diverse input to the primer, we welcome your involvement too: Stoke the conversation. Share the primer on social media with the hashtag #PFSC. Join the conversation on Shareable here. Add your observations and critiques. Above all, advocate for the policies you believe will help your city. You’ll join a growing number of people working to democratize urban economies around the world. Please join our mailing lists here and here to connect to this community.