Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons

About “Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons” (download here)

Cities are a key driver of the most urgent challenges facing societies today including racism, inequality, social isolation, and climate change. Not to mention that billions of city dwellers worldwide often struggle to meet their basic needs for food, water, and housing.

Amidst this crisis lies a tremendous opportunity for people to address these challenges together. Communities, organizations, and local governments are increasingly responding to challenges by reviving a basic human practice: sharing. By sharing labor, space, goods, power, wealth, and more, people are overcoming scarcity by building and maintaining vital common resources. They show that sharing can lead everyone to have more, together.

“Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons” witnesses a growing global movement through over a hundred sharing-related case studies and model policies from more than 80 cities in 35 countries. It serves as a practical reference guide for community-based solutions to common urban challenges and an people-powered antidote to a corporate-driven smart city agenda. This book is a call to action meant to inspire city planners, local governments, policy makers, activists, and community leaders worldwide. The book shows that not only is another world possible — but that much of it is already here.

Praise for “Sharing Cities”

“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”

See what others are saying about our book.

Our Sharing Cities work

Sharing Cities is much more than a book. It’s a worldwide movement that Shareable catalyzed the movement in 2011 by hosting ShareSF, the first conference about the sharing economy in cities. As the movement unfolded around the globe, Shareable continued to support it through regular in-depth news coverage, specialty publications, campaigns, and advisory.

In 2013, Shareable published “Policies for Shareable Cities” — the first ever Sharing Cities policy guide — in collaboration with the Sustainable Economies Law Center. That same year, we launched the Sharing Cities Network to connect local sharing activists around the world. Since then, over 100 cities have launched Sharing Cities programs. One of the most influential leaders is Seoul, South Korea, who we advised from 2013 to 2018. In 2016, Mayor Park won the Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development for Seoul’s Sharing Cities program. In 2018, we published “Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons” to illustrate a vision for and guide the movement toward commons-based urban development.

In addition to movement building, Shareable also advise city governments, social enterprises, and research organizations about how to reach their goals through sharing. Please drop us a line at to learn more about our services.

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