Economy

Cities Worldwide Come Together to Deal with Uber and Airbnb

City Mayors from all over the world strive to create a rulebook for Uber and Airbnb

June 22nd, 2016
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Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc. are both “sharing economy” app-based companies widely used around the world. Usually these companies deal with regulators on a city-to-city basis. However, two months ago representatives from cities including New York, Athens, and Paris met in Amsterdam to discuss about a common regulation for the two companies.

Led by the mayors of New York and Paris, the aim of this conference is to develop a unified system of rules for Uber and Airbnb to adhere to when dealing with cities. They hope that doing this will allow them to clarify and strengthen their stance on companies that want to work in their cities. It would also make it easier for future sharing-economy companies to get access to cities without having to deal with lawsuits and other obstacles.

Wiley Norvell, spokesman for New York mayor’s deputy for housing and economic development Bill de Blasio, said that “having the 20 or 30 biggest urban markets of the world all operating under entirely different rules doesn’t do much good for anyone”, seeking consistency for tourists and consumers.

Even though there are major cultural differences, Norvell said that all cities dealing with Uber and Airbnb are “grappling with the same issues around safety, equity, economic opportunity and sustainability”. Among the cities currently involved in the project there are New York, Paris, Barcelona, Toronto, Seoul, and Athens.

Other cities are not part of the project yet. For example Tokyo, which is facing a tourism boom and will host the 2020 Olympics, according to a Tokyo Metropolitan Government Official is still not ready to participate, as Japan is in the process of creating new nationwide rules to regulate sharing-economy companies.

However, it is impressive that two companies managed to unite city mayors from all over the world, who had to set aside cultural and linguistic differences in order to work together.

References:

Cultural Diplomacy News
Dominique Schmutzer, CD News