81st Annual Meeting

In Support of Policies for Shareable Cities

  • WHEREAS, economic instability has led to increased unemployment in U.S. cities, where income and wages have stagnated for most Americans while productivity has surged; over the past thirty years the median US family income has only grown at an annual rate of 0.36%, while the overall economy has grown at a rate of 2.66%; and

    WHEREAS, the number of Americans living in isolation has doubled since 1985, particularly amongst the elderly, as the strength of neighborhood community relationships has declined in both urban and suburban areas; and

    WHEREAS, an emerging 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; and

    WHEREAS, the placement and monetization of underutilized assets into Sharing Economy marketplaces empowers citizens to find new ways of providing jobs, housing, transportation, food, and improved lifestyles for themselves; provides additional income for households and local businesses; makes city living more affordable; and generates reinvestment in communities; and

    WHEREAS, this access to new economic opportunities promotes greater entrepreneurship and the creation of new small enterprises, two aspects of urban life in which cities have invested significant resources to date; and

    WHEREAS, various forms of sharing amongst residents, neighbors and colleagues can strengthen community ties which leads to greater resilience in times of economic and environmental stress; and

    WHEREAS, many cities have pioneered the Sharing Economy over the past several decades with great success through models such as car- and bicycle-sharing, ridesharing, co-working, consumer cooperatives, home-swapping and sharing, and tool lending libraries, thus providing access to items and space that previously might have been prohibitively expensive to some citizens; and

    WHEREAS, new technology platforms and social tools have enabled even more citizens to connect with each other in order to access new economic opportunities by monetizing and sharing their underutilized assets; and

    WHEREAS, Sharing Economy companies have proven to be engines of innovation and job creation, driving economic development in the hearts of American cities, where joblessness is still most pervasive; and

    WHEREAS, the Sharing Economy can improve and make more cost-effective traditional approaches for managing overall growth and urbanization, integrating transportation solutions, reducing crime, designing urban spaces, creating jobs, and providing a variety of public services for citizens; and

    WHEREAS, in the aftermath of a disaster, Sharing Economy platforms can open up access to untapped supplies of housing, transportation, other goods and skills to aid in response and recovery efforts, addressing the needs of survivors during a critical time; and

    WHEREAS, balanced, equitable and clear regulation of the Sharing Economy will ensure greater compliance and benefits to a broader, more diverse population, NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors urges support for making cities more shareable by (1) encouraging a better understanding of the Sharing Economy and its benefits to both the public and private sectors by creating more robust and standardized methods for measuring its impacts in cities; (2) creating local task forces to review and address regulations that may hinder participants in the Sharing Economy and proposing revisions that ensure public protection as well; and (3) playing an active role in making appropriate publicly owned assets available for maximum utilization by the general public through proven sharing mechanisms.

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