Business Cities

Mayors Endorse the Sharing Economy

E53_St_Citibike_station_loaded_jehThe U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution promising to make their cities more shareable, CollaborativeConsumption.com reports. The Shareable Cities Resolution states that mayors resolve to encourage a better understanding of the sharing economy and create local task forces to review and address regulations that may hinder participation.

“The Sharing Economy is redefining the ways that goods and services are exchanged, valued and created amongst citizens by enabling affordable access as an alternative to ownership,” states Resolution 87, which was co-sponsored by 15 mayors including San Francisco’s Ed Lee and New York City’s Michael Bloomberg. A sharing marketplace empowers citizens and makes city living an affordable option in today’s unstable economy. It also promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, job creation, and cost-effective urbanization, the resolution says.

Many cities have already taken steps toward the sharing economy by introducing car- and bike-sharing, co-working, consumer cooperatives, home-swapping, and tool lending libraries. (An example is NYC’s new bike-sharing program, whose initial popularity has resulted in distribution challenges.) The mayoral resolution aims to push initiatives even further, utilizing new technology platforms and social tools to connect citizens. These digital peer-to-peer platforms “dramatically increase the scale for sharing that previously occurred in a narrow sphere among friends,” John Hagel and John Seely Brown wrote in a recent Techonomy article. And as consumers (and cities) reap the benefits, businesses must identify opportunities to participate in the sharing economy, or be left behind.

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