Everyday, there is more technology in our cities, and more life in our technologies. However, the interplay between humanity and technology in cities often remains elusive, focussing on big future rends and smart cities. As a consequence, most city governments are able to govern their physical territory, yet not able to effectively govern their digital territory. Leading to missed opportunities as well as uneven relations with large online platforms effecting their cities. The sharing economy and digital platforms are among the most visible and concrete phenomena that city governments can play with and learn from today. The many opportunities and challenges of the sharing economy are easier to experience and understand, both for municipal governments and citizens. Therefore:
it is our mission to empower city governments to address the opportunities and challenges of the sharing economy;
we aim to enable cities to gain a collective experience and memory to become better able in governing their digital territories;
we do so with full respect to the character of every city, we make no distinction nor judgement about the many different approaches and political colours, as long as city governments operate in line with the Declaration of the High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law on Good Governance, installed by the United Nations as well as its human rights framework;
it is our commitment to help our partner cities to share the full range of activities and approached through our activities, and to give all city governments the opportunity to judge what works best for their city;
we openly share as much policies, research, case studies and data as possible, but without compromising partner cities need for privacy;
we work both for and with our partner cities.
Therefore, the entire team of the Sharing Cities Alliance Foundation has signed the Copenhagen Letter, taking responsibility for the cities we are creating. The people in our team, and the other 5000+ signers of this letter, hold each other accountable to stay true to the these values:
Tech is not above us. It should be governed by all of us, by our democratic institutions. It should play by the rules of our societies. It should serve our needs, both individual and collective, as much as our wants.
Progress is more than innovation. We are builders at heart. Let us create a new Renaissance. We will open and nourish honest public conversation about the power of technology. We are ready to serve our societies. We will apply the means at our disposal to move our societies and their institutions forward.
Let us build from trust. Let us build for true transparency. We need digital citizens, not mere consumers. We all depend on transparency to understand how technology shapes us, which data we share, and who has access to it. Treating each other as commodities from which to extract maximum economic value is bad, not only for society as a complex, interconnected whole but for each and every one of us.
Design open to scrutiny. We must encourage a continuous, public, and critical reflection on our definition of success as it defines how we build and design for others. We must seek to design with those for whom we are designing. We will not tolerate design for addiction, deception, or control. We must design tools that we would love our loved ones to use. We must question our intent and listen to our hearts.
Let us move from human-centered design to humanity-centered design.
We are a community that exerts great influence. We must protect and nurture the potential to do good with it. We must do this with attention to inequality, with humility, and with love. In the end, our reward will be to know that we have done everything in our power to leave our garden patch a little greener than we found it.
Harmen van Sprang
Pieter van de Glind
Pieter de Jong
Chief cities officer
Are you just as interested in the latest developments in the sharing and platform economy as we are? Are you passionate about finding new solutions to create liveable, sustainable and resilient cities? That's great! We have several vacancies at the moment, so this is your chance to dive into this rapidly evolving field.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org
At this moment, we have two vacancies at the Sharing Cities Alliance: