Sharing Cities Alliance meets with ECO
By Eileen Patskin
June 6, 2018
Recently, Dallas Office of Economic Development (ECO) staff met with Pieter van de Glind, a co-founder of the Sharing Cities Alliance (SCA), based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The SCA is an independent foundation that connects cities worldwide, fostering a collaborative environment for city governments to learn about, and then implement, best practices from the sharing economy model.
Mr. van de Glind and Economic Development staff discussed areas for collaboration including transportation and housing options, information technology, and refugee services, especially in southern Dallas, where access to economic mobility has been historically limited. Attendees discussed a variety of ways the sharing economy model can assist in addressing these challenges. One challenge, the “last mile” problem, which is the distance from the last public transit stop to the public transportation user’s final destination, could be solved by transportation apps. These apps combine public transportation with car and bike sharing options, giving users multiple ways to bridge that “last mile” hurdle. Another topic discussed was how to connect the homeless, university students, and refugees with temporary or permanent housing options.
Mr. van de Glind noted that, “Ultimately, the sharing economy and the emergence of new online platforms has the potential to allow all citizens connected to the Internet, with a better access to all kinds of products, services, learning and financing. The sharing economy allows for a better use of existing capacity giving citizens and local organizations access to mobility, learning, housing, food and care. In Amsterdam the government collaborates with Shareyourmeal, a platform that connects +10.000 ‘home cooks’ to neighbors who lack the time or interest to cook for themselves. Seoul, South Korea, the world’s first Sharing City,has invested in a range of online platforms that have the potential to tackle some of its largest urban challenges. such as locally crafted car and ridesharing apps.”
He continued, saying, “The offline sharing economy has existed for a long time. Last year I visited such a library in Seoul, where residents can affordably rent a suit. Having access to a suit increased their chances of getting hired. I recommend the city of Dallas to deploy a Sharing City strategy that connects the online sharing economy by developing its own platform and working together with existing platforms, while at the same time creating hubs across the city where citizens can walk in and explore all that the city has to offer. Having such a Sharing City platform enables the Dallas to better serve the needs of its citizens as well as the business community, by increasing the skill level of the local labor force and increase the overall attractiveness of the city.”
As part of making Dallas a more resilient city, City of Dallas staff are actively engaged with stakeholders in both the public and private sector, such as the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA). The DIA, in partnership with its stakeholders (which includes the City of Dallas), works on making Dallas a “smart city,” one where social and technological infrastructures and solutions facilitate and accelerate sustainable economic growth and resource efficiency, improving the lives of its citizens. Economic Development staff and Mr. van de Glind met with DIA Director Jennifer Sanders to discuss current and future smart cities initiatives they are working on, including ones that support collaboration between SCA and the DIA.
As stated on the Sharing Cities Alliance website, www.sharingcitiesalliance.com, “The rise of the sharing economic has an increasing impact on cities. 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).”
Dallas and its partners are working hard to move the city forward, making it more sustainable and equitable, by using the best technology and brainpower on offer, not only in Dallas but worldwide.
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