Guelph Lab Contributes to Provincial Toolkit on Sharing Economy
How can municipalities balance innovation, policy goals and citizen protection when faced with the growing popularity of companies like Uber or Airbnb? How can we best understand and respond to this new model of a sharing economy?
Over the past months, the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute worked closely with the City of Guelph to research these questions. Results and guidelines were released last week in "Navigating the sharing economy: A 6-decision guide for municipalities", commissioned by the Large Urban Mayors' Caucus on Ontario. The guide provides a short introduction to the sharing economy and discusses six types of decisions that should be examined by municipalities anticipating or reacting to the presence of a shared economy platform in their jurisdiction. The guide also includes examples to illustrate how municipalities have responded to these questions in practice, as well as resources and case studies.
Staff and students at the Institute were heavily involved throughout the development of this guide. The Research Shop and other University of Guelph students provided extensive research support to this project, conducting interviews with city staff and other experts about their perspective on the sharing economy, producing a thorough review of existing literature and resources, and preparing a scan of current municipal responses. This work was coordinated by Guelph Lab facilitator Sam Laban, who also produced the first draft of the report.