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NLC Releases Report on Sharing Economy

June 4, 2015
The National League of Cities (NLC) on June 3 released the first national quantitative survey of local elected officials' views on the sharing economy.
The report, City Survey on the Sharing Economy: Shifting Perceptions of Collaborative Consumption, found that 71 percent of cities surveyed are supportive of growth in the sharing economy — particularly with ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft — but many are concerned about the sharing economy’s impact on public safety. On the whole, cities want to encourage economic development and accommodate the services their constituents want.
The report was released in conjunction with an animated video: “Cities, The Sharing Economy, and What’s Next.
The survey found that city leaders are open to integrating sharing economy services more fully within their communities — and they want to capitalize on this opportunity. When asked to identify the greatest benefit of the sharing economy, 22 percent of city leaders identified improved services, 20 percent identified increased economic activity, and 16 percent identified increased entrepreneurial activity.
At the same time, the survey found that cities do have concerns with the sharing economy. By a large margin, 61 percent of city leaders were most concerned with public safety, specifically identifying the lack of comparable insurance coupled with general safety concerns. Other areas of concern included the protection of traditional service providers and industry participants (10 percent) and non-compliance with current standards (9 percent).
Many cities are working through these challenges because they want to reflect resident demands and benefit from the sharing economy’s economic impact. However, there’s a high degree of variation in city policies that regulate the sharing economy, and nearly 60 percent of cities do not regulate ridesharing or home sharing at all. The majority of respondents acknowledged the importance of developing new policies on the sharing economy, and placed ridesharing front and center as the top priority in the policy arena.
City Survey on the Sharing Economy: Shifting Perceptions of Collaborative Consumption builds on NLC’s work to help city leaders understand and benefit from the sharing economy.

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