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For Better Or Worse, The Sharing Economy Will Impact Cities Across The U.S.


The sharing economy has been permeating cities for a number of years but its impact has only just begun.

Companies such as Airbnb, WeWork and Uber have disrupted traditional business models and, in some cases, even municipal issues. With the more recent rise of smart city technology and innovation such as autonomous vehicles, these trends could shape many areas across the nation.

That is not always a good thing. A survey conducted by the National League of Cities found that while more than half of local officials reported having a positive relationship with companies including Uber, Lyft and Airbnb, another 33% claimed the relationships were very poor, TechCrunch reports.

But even with some reporting bad relationships, the study found that 62% of cities are in support of the overall sharing economy, and there is a general willingness by cities to partner with the companies.

An estimated 84% of municipalities are not engaged in a partnership but of those, 79% were open to moving in that direction, TechCrunch reports.

Cities that reported positive relationships are already ahead of the game and benefiting from the partnership, with some creating tax collection programs for home-sharing companies or first- and last-mile ride programs with ride-sharing platforms. Kissimmee, Florida, has allowed developer Newgard Development Group to partner with Airbnb to create a 300-unit apartment building near Walt Disney World Resorts.