Policies for Shareable Cities: What Cities Can Do to Support Sharing

Posted Monday September 16th 2013 by Jen Angel

We've been working with Shareable to get the word out about their new report, Policies for Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Policy Primer for Urban Leaders.

Sharing has been part of communities for ages, and the recent boom in "the sharing economy" with services like AirBnB, Lyft, Uber, etc has shown how informal and formal sharing networks come in conflict with city policy. The report details not only new policies and regulations that cities can implement to help sharing, but examples of existing, out-dated policies that make urban farming or cohousing illegal. The report is thorough and makes specific recommendations in four areas: transportation, food, housing, and jobs as well as giving real-life examples from cities that are implementing these changes.

The full press release is below, and you can download the report here.

If you would like to interview the authors, please email Jen.

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 New report details what cities can do now to benefit from a sharing economy


San Francisco, CA (September 16, 2013) — A new report released today by Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) details policy steps that city governments can take to benefit from the growing sharing economy by supporting innovations such as ridesharing, cohousing, cooperatives, and urban agriculture.

Policies for Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Policy Primer for Urban Leaders makes specific recommendations in four major areas of urban policy: transportation, food, housing, and jobs. The report also cites model policies from municipalities around the United States that are already doing this work, such as Cleveland, Austin, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Neal Gorenflo, founder of Shareable, says, “We believe that fostering the growth of the sharing economy is the single most important thing that city governments can do to boost shared prosperity and resilience in times of economic crisis and climate change.”

Driven by economic need and empowered by new technologies, people are engaging in more socially connected ways of provisioning their lives and generating income.  As SELC’s City Policies program director, Yassi Eskandari-Qajar, explains, “The sharing economy creates opportunities in tough times and will help society transition to a better state of economic and ecological affairs. However, legal barriers are slowing progress. Policies for Shareable Cities identifies these barriers and offers policy solutions that create reasonable regulation without stifling innovation.”

Some common barriers municipalities can reassess are regulations that prohibit the sale of food grown or prepared at home, or limiting the number of unrelated adults who can live in a housing unit. In addition to revisiting restrictive policies, cities can proactively support the sharing economy through tax incentives for worker cooperatives, creating small business incubators, providing parking for shared vehicles, revising zoning rules to support cohousing, and more.

The 40-page report was co-produced by Shareable, an online hub for the global sharing movement, and the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a research and advocacy organization dedicated to navigating the legal grey areas of the sharing economy.  Policies for Shareable Cities is based in part on a 15-part web series created by the two groups.

Policies for Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Primer for Urban Leaders is available online as a PDF at http://www.shareable.net/blog/new-report-policies-for-shareable-cities


More about Shareable

Shareable is a San Francisco-based nonprofit on a mission to empower everyone to share for a more joyous, resilient, and equitable world.  Visit Shareable online at http://www.shareable.net


More about The Sustainable Economies Law Center

The Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) is a nonprofit that charts the legal territory of the new economy, educating people about the possibilities and limits of creative economic structures, and advocating for laws that clear the way for community resilience. Visit SELC online at http://www.theselc.org