- A new study on the sharing economy, conducted by the National League of Cities, found a majority of city residents (51%) have mixed feelings about the sharing economy, such as ride-sharing, office-sharing or home-sharing.
- On a city level, 78% of cities are broadly supportive of sharing economy growth, though only 16% of cities have entered into a formal partnership with a company like Uber, Lyft or Airbnb. While most cities have described their relationships with these type of companies as good or very good, 33% have described the relationships as "very poor."
- Public safety has remained a top concern around the overall sharing economy. 60% of local officials have identified it as a top concern with ride-sharing, while 57% have identified it as a top concern with home-sharing.
In the overall growth of urban landscapes, relationships between cities and sharing economy companies are fairly new — and rapidly increasing. In the ride-sharing economy alone, Uber, Lyft, Via, Safr, Maven and more have all penetrated cities with their commuting solutions. Uber is now available in 633 cities worldwide, while Lyft just launched in Sioux Falls, SD, marking the 50th state where it now has a presence. Those two services complete a combined 11 million trips each day, suggesting that people around the globe are becoming increasingly dependent on the services.
Office-sharing is growing in popularity as well, as WeWork and other shared office spaces continue to pop up around the country. At a recent event in Washington, D.C., general manager Dave McLaughlin explained that WeWork spaces have open layouts and centralized kitchens, narrow hallways that force interactions, and a communal mobile app for members to share ideas and needs — or as he calls it, "infrastructure for impact [and] infrastructure for culture." As more startups and small businesses are launched, these shared spaces will be crucial to cut down on leasing prices and availability while fostering collaboration.
Safety is a fair concern, however, and there's not much that can be done to ensure 100% safety while riding in a shared car or renting out someone else's home for the weekend. While shared economy companies take serious measures to vet those who list their properties or services on shared economy apps, more city influence will need to occur to ensure these apps are regulated and as secure as possible.