Photo by Simon Zhu via Unsplash

This article was adapted from our latest book, “Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons.” Download your free pdf copy today.

Starting a new timebank requires a community that is ready to share their time and skills, but in order for it to be successful, there is also the need for a professional service and access to various facilities, including office, meeting, and event space. It can be difficult to organize and find these services and places based on donations and voluntary work contributions alone, so municipal aid can go a long way.

The city of Barcelona provides support to timebanks by providing educational and legal advice through its technical unit “Associació Salut i Família” (Health and Family Association). They offer municipal grants to entities or individuals that carry out activities or projects of public or social interest to the municipality, providing meeting spaces in neighborhood and civic centers, and offering advice and education to civic associations through its Torre Jussana center.

Partly as a result of this strong support from the city administration, Barcelona is regarded as one of the world’s leading time bank cities. Numerous time banks have emerged in the city, and offer training for those interested in starting time banks elsewhere in the world.

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Wolfgang Wiltrude Hoeschele


Wolfgang Wiltrude Hoeschele

Born in Germany and having grown up in Thailand, Korea, and Greece, Wolfgang Wiltrude Hoeschele pursued his higher education in the US, culminating in a doctorate in geography

Things I share: Knowledge, insights, books, bike riding, gardening in a community garden