Shared goods refers to the exchange, sale or loaning of new or used items among different actors. Equipment, toys, tools, clothing, furniture, appliances, books and electronics are examples of items shared. Goods sharing can take the form of peer-to-peer or businessto-peer transactions – often mediated by online platforms such as eBay – or sharing among businesses or municipalities through platforms like Munirent.
Key recommendations to advance urban sustainability:
Adopt relevant recommendations from Chapter 4 on Community Sharing.
Shift from waste management to materials management and prioritize support for Sharing Economy activities at the top of the waste hierarchy (eliminate, reduce, reuse) that diminish material and energy throughput the most.
Promote the concept of access over ownership of goods through targeted policies and other support of Sharing Economy activities.
Support Business-to-Business exchange through initiating and/or supporting online platforms and Industrial Symbiosis pilot projects, including those where local government provides space or acts as an anchor partner.
Demonstrate by example and share equipment and goods with other municipalities and stakeholders.
Inventory civic assets and use them to support Sharing Economy activities that advance sustainability goals; assets might include community centres, parks, office space, and municipal staff expertise.
Commit to goals and actions for reducing the city’s ecological footprint and measure consumption-based accounting of emissions in climate action plans.
What to watch out for:
Prioritizing recycling and reusing – focus instead on waste prevention, materials management and resource reductions.
Focusing on household goods and missing out on opportunities to share goods among municipalities, businesses and institutions.
Overemphasizing sharing criteria in purchasing agreements instead of developing a more fundamental systemic approach to sustainable purchasing.
Triggering rebound effects – avoid investing savings from sharing goods in more goods; instead encourage reinvestment into more sustainable practices and programs.
Thank you to The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation for supporting this roadmap and project as part of Cities for People. The LGSE roadmap was developed and written by One Earth.