A reinvention and revival of sharing in our cities could enhance equity, rebuild community and dramatically cut resource use. With modern technologies the intersection of urban space and cyber-space provides an unsurpassed platform for a more inclusive and environmentally efficient sharing economy. Yet this opportunity is currently being overlooked. Cities have always been about shared space, interaction and the exchange of goods and services through marketplaces and money-lending, for example.
A successful city needs good governance and collective civic structures to facilitate and regulate the interface between the shared public realm and private interests, and enable effective and fair sharing of resources and opportunities. In their more recent incarnations however, ‘sharing and shareability’ are typically too narrowly conceived and perceived. The opportunity is so much greater than middle-class ‘swishing’ and Spotify and even though urban bike-sharing schemes have dominated news in this space, whether in London, Copenhagen, Paris or Montreal, or Rio, Guadalajara (México), Buenos Aires, or Providencia (Chile), sharing is definitely about much more than ‘bums on bikes’.
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