On the positive side, the sharing of goods and services among citizens and local businesses benefits the local economy, improves social cohesion and boosts sustainability and overall quality of life. But there are challenges too. The blurring line between public and private activities may lead to friction between different stakeholders and forces cities to reconsider policies and regulations (i.e. taxation, licensing and zoning). A growing number of cities from around the world are placing the sharing economy at the centre of their overall strategy. Many of those cities have the ambition to become a sharing city: a city that unlocks new opportunities and solves urban challenges by facilitating and applying the sharing economy., while at the same time addressing the challenges posed by these rapid changes.
The Sharing Cities Alliance was established on the 18th of May, 2017 in New York City during the world’s second Sharing Cities Summit. City leaders from 22 cities from 13 countries and 4 continents came together to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the sharing economy.
The Sharing Cities Alliance is a city network operated by an independent foundation that connects cities from all continents, and fosters city-to-city learning, empowering city governments to continuously address the sharing economy.
"Not only because it will make cities faster and more efficient in acting on societal disruptions, but also because it will allow cities to team up and jointly work on new legislation when they are dealing with issues that involve the rise of large platforms. Through the Alliance, cities are building a global answer to a global phenomenon." The Huffington Post, June 2017.
Becoming an associate partner is recommended to cities that want to follow what cities in the Alliance are doing without taking part in the summits, seminars and other activities. Associate partners have full access to the case studies, policies and research collected in the Alliance Lexicon and receive the Sharing Cities Magazine. Joining the Alliance as an associate saves your city time in getting to know the sharing and platform economy and how to make the most out of its challenges and opportunities.
Becoming a partner is recommended to cities that want to shape the development of the sharing and platform economy actively and collaboratively. Partner cities recognise the potential and the challenges of the sharing economy and want to increase awareness within and outside of the city government. Partner cities (aim to) develop strategies, set priorities and are exploring potential pilot projects. Joining the Alliance as a partner will provide your city full access to all the Alliance activities. This includes: access to online interactive seminars co-hosted by a city from the Alliance; four online one-on-one sessions with a sharing and platform economy expert; access to a yearly summit; access to the Alliance Lexicon (ALEX) and receiving a monthly magazine that updates you on sharing city activities and research from around the world. By showcasing best practices and projects through our online and social media channels, partner cities also get the opportunity to put their city on the map as a pioneering (sharing) city. Joining the Alliance as a partner will enable your city to continuously and effectively embrace the sharing and platform economy's opportunities and respond to its disruptions.
Becoming a premium partner is recommended to cities that want everything regular partners get and more. Joining the Alliance as a premium partner will provide your city with everything regular partners receive, plus a full-day visit by an expert. This day is custom-made and designed as a power booster for developing a full sharing city strategy or to significantly advance one or more sector(s) and/or policy specific areas in your city through a flexible format of keynote presentations, workshops and (policy) design sessions.
“This new network is going to be phenomenally useful to cities like New York. Until now, we’ve each navigated the sharing economy on our own. We’ve often been reactive, regulating in response to one company or one sector at a time. Now, we can strategise for the future.”
Alicia Glen - Deputy Mayor of New York City
“Developments in the sharing and platform economy can go fast. Sometimes governments cannot keep up at the same pace as the platforms. In Cities we know that we depend on national regulations or European regulations and that also takes a lot of time. We don’t have that time. Therefore I think that the Sharing Cities Alliance is very important because there we can learn from each other. We can immediately exchange information. So we know from each other how we are dealing with issues and what we are saying to the companies from the platform economy that are active in our cities. This makes us stronger as cities. I really believe it is necessary to make sure that we profit from the positive effects, but that we also deal with the negative effects. I think that the platform companies are quite aware of the fact that the cities are aligning through the Sharing Cities Alliance.”
Kajsa Ollongren - Former Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam
“We have a traditional saying: ‘if you both suffer from the same disease, it is better to sympathise with each other.’ Together we can learn to better use existing resources to become more sustainable. Together we will be better able grasp the opportunity and to deal with the challenges offered to us by the sharing economy. I would like all cities to join forces and overcome our challenges together."
Ma Chae-sook, Director of Social Innovation, Seoul Metropolitan Government
"The issues we face are similar to other cities. Being part of the Sharing Cities Alliance offers us the opportunity to discuss our ideas, share our successes, failures and challenges. It enables us to collectively figure out how we can make our cities what they need to be."
Ernest Chrappah, Director Department Vehicle For-Hire, Washington D.C.