NEW BOOK — Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons

Cities are the world’s social, economic, and political focal point. They are also beset with the most urgent challenges that societies face today including inequality, racism, social isolation, and climate change. Not to mention that billions of city dwellers are often unable to meet their basic needs for food, housing, and clean water.

Amidst this crisis lies tremendous opportunity for people to address these problems collectively. To meet challenges, communities, organizations, and local governments are increasingly turning to a basic human practice: sharing. By sharing their labor, knowledge, space, and goods, people are finding that they can overcome scarcity by building and maintaining vital common resources. They are showing how sharing leads everyone to have more, together.

Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons showcases over a hundred sharing-related case studies and model policies from more than 80 cities in 35 countries. It witnesses a growing global movement and serves as a practical reference guide for community-based solutions to urgent challenges faced by cities everywhere. This book is a call to action meant to inspire readers, raise awareness, and strengthen the sharing movement worldwide. “Sharing Cities” shows that not only is another world possible — but that much of it is already here.

Sharing Cities shows that the answer is us. It lays out a vision, with concrete examples, of how we can ease pressure on the planet, increase access to the things people need, and strengthen our democracy through sharing. Read this book and let’s get started building a better world!” — Annie Leonard, executive director, Greenpeace USA and author of “The Story of Stuff

By far the best single guide to the exploding commons revolution: Practical and revolutionary; immediate and far-seeing; a truly indispensable and fast-moving handbook on the change that is building community from the ground-up worldwide.” — Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative and author of “What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution

Sharing Cities is published by Shareable, an award-winning nonprofit news, action and connection hub for the sharing transformation. What’s the sharing transformation? It’s a movement of movements emerging from the grassroots up to solve today’s biggest challenges, which old, top-down institutions are failing to address.

Behind these failing industrial-age institutions are outmoded beliefs about how the world works – that ordinary people can’t govern themselves directly; that nonstop economic growth leads to widespread prosperity; and that more stuff leads to more happiness.

Shareable was one of the key initiators of the sharing cities movement. In 2011, they organized ShareSF in San Francisco, California — the first event held under the joint theme of sharing and cities. As the sharing cities movement unfolded around the globe, we continued to mobilize and raise awareness through in-depth news coverage, consulting, and advising, particularly to policymakers and other leaders.

In 2013, they published “Policies for Shareable Cities” — the first ever sharing cities policy guide — in collaboration with the Sustainable Economies Law Center. That same year, they launched the Sharing Cities Network to connect local sharing activists in cities around the world for mutual support and movement building. Since then, dozens of cities have launched a sharing cities program. Most notable is the city government of Seoul, South Korea, which has invested heavily in creating a sharing city.

Amid crisis, a new way forward is emerging – the sharing transformation. The sharing transformation is big, global, and impacts every part of society.

See Shareable website.

Download free PDF of Sharing Cities.

Buy print version of Sharing Cities.

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