Sharing Is the Future of Great Cities

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Dave Phillips, Technology Policy Blog -
All Rights Reserved. Public Draft – For Discussion ONly
Blog - WP - 5_24_13_9am

Essay: Sharing is the Future of Great Cities:
Why Cities need to embrace innovators and regulate the shared value economy differently.

Innovation and disruption are as old as cities and markets. In just the last century: the telephone disrupted the telegraph; television disrupted radio and newspapers, and the Internet disrupted almost everything. Well not everything, really, because the physical world of cities, local services, and the bureaucracies that oversee them has been largely unchanged by the technology and Internet revolution of the last twenty years. That is no longer true. The latest wave of innovation, under the banner of the so-called “sharing economy”, enables sharing and accessing real-world services. In doing so, it is running into a wall of resistance from local regulators and the incumbent service industries they oversee. A handful of US Cities are now battling the new sharing networks in courts. This week a New York Administrative Law Judge declared Airbnb illegal. A few weeks ago, the NYC taxi and limo lobby quashed a new pilot hybrid-car e-taxi program, causing Mayor Bloomberg to rail angrily against the politically powerful NYC taxi industry cartel. This follows on the heels of car sharing startup RelayRides (carsharing, which operates like an Airbnb for cars) announcement it suspended its service in New York after regulators enforced the state’s unique insurance law protections., New York City regulators have also forced limo rental network, Uber, and ridesharing network, SideCar, to curtail services.

And it’s not just New York bureaucrats who are flexing their muscle against this new class of businesses and economic activity. The state of Minnesota briefly banned free online education. Minnesota reversed themselves promptly after widespread criticism, but this reflexive and overly enthusiastic...
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