July 21, 2017

The technology that brought us Airbnb and Uber can do so much more



Stock Photo - Waving flag with Airbnb logo. Editorial 3D rendering
Copyright: moovstock / 123RF Stock Photo

The city of Medellin, Colombia, has invested in shared resources and spaces, like Parque de las luces. There’s a problem with the sharing economy, says Julian Agyeman, an urban studies and environmental policy scholar at Tufts University. “While useful in some ways,” he says, “the concept of a ‘sharing economy’ limits this very human value — sharing — to an economic transaction.”

That’s the thesis of Agyeman’s most recent book, Sharing Cities , cowritten with environmental scholar Duncan McLaren. In the book, the two authors make the case for technology as a tool to transform cities into more equitable and more sustainable places — if applied correctly. But when smart-city programs aren’t designed to correct social inequality, Agyeman says, they end up furthering it. Take San Francisco, the de facto sharing-economy headquarters, where skyrocketing rents have made the city “unaffordable for all but the wealthiest.” Julian Agyeman Agyeman wasn’t always focused on issues of justice. As an undergraduate, he studied botany and geography. But his interests shifted when he moved to London in the mid ’80s. “I realized that environment — even landscape — is not apolitical,” he says. “Landscapes are both real and socially constructed.”

So Agyeman turned to urban […]

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The News for the Gig Economy Staff is constantly searching the web for the latest news regarding freelancing and gig platforms to bring them to you in one handy place. All articles with this generic author have been sourced with the original location at the bottom of the piece. We encourage our readers to view the original source of all excerpts. NGE is a project of ARC Online, LLC.

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