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2013 March 29
by dan bertolet

sharing_economy

There’s sharing in our future:

The very thing that makes cities so powerful – their ability to agglomerate – will only be enhanced by the sharing economy. Academics tell us that great things grow out of dense human interaction. Picture what’s possible when those same people are further connected to each other through networks modeled in the digital age and built on the real-world sharing of cars, spare bedrooms and whisks.

I’m already hooked on Car2Go. It has probably nudged up my carbon footprint, but I have no doubt that new carsharing systems like Car2Go will lead to an overall reduction of humanity’s overall environmental impact. Parking guru Donald Shoup is fond of pointing out that the average car is only operating (i.e. not parked) about five percent of the time. Double that to just 10 percent through carsharing, and we might only need half the number of cars.

The building in the photo above houses flex space, including a new shared art workshop called ALTSpace. Coworking spaces are popping up all over the city. Okay, so the bike in the photo isn’t shared, but it soon could be.

And have you heard about Yerdle? Founded by a former Walmart executive and a former Sierra Club president, the goal of Yerdle is to enable peer-to-peer sharing of stuff that could reduce the consumption of new stuff by an estimated $200 billion per year.

More sharing means more bang for the buck, and less stuff means less greenhouse gas emissions—two things that are going to matter more and more in our resource-constrained future.

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Photo by the author.  This post is part of a series.

One Response leave one →
  1. JJackson permalink
    April 2, 2013

    If you actually desire “efficiency” in the use of automobiles, taxicabs are far more efficient than private ownership or Car2Go. Now that the taxis are more and more comprised of Priuses, they get much better mileage too. One-third better than a “Smart” (?) car. Look it up. So tell me, what’s really happening? Is Car2Go just another yuppie fad that its promoters haven’t really thought about? Nah, couldn’t be that, because you’re superior to the rest of us.

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