Sharing Cities

“There are relatively few books out there that really introduce a new paradigm for cities, a new lens through which to understand what urban sustainability could look like. This book does that, and rather than just sharing theory, it shares the story of real cities successfully making the sharing city real.” —Brent Toderian

This page provides links to papers and articles about the 'sharing paradigm' I developed in collaboration with Julian Agyeman as a way of helping deliver sustainable cities. Our book, Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities was published by MIT Press in 2015. Both paper and e-book versions can be purchased on the MIT Press page here. Hard copies can also be bought from Amazon UK or Amazon US. And for those keen to share it, ask at your local library!

We launched the book with a joint lecture at the Sustainability Science Centre at Copenhagen University: full video of the lecture can be viewed here.  You can read the first reviews in Nature, where Colin Ellard kindly said: "In Sharing Cities, McLaren and Agyeman lay out, with impressive depth, clarity and wisdom, a comprehensive prescription for a sharing paradigm", and in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Nature also listed the book as one of the top twenty science books of the year.

For a very brief overview of the Sharing Cities case - watch my 'pecha-kucha' (7 minute presentation) from the Gothenburg Sustainability Awards ceremony for Mayor Pak of Seoul.

Sharing Cities-GBGaward.mp4

We also received great endorsements from urbanists and sharing economy researchers:  

“If you want to understand the possibilities and challenges of the sharing paradigm to transform the way cities are designed, read this book.” —Rachel Botsman

“Every mayor, city policymaker, and citizen changemaker should read this book’s case studies, get ideas, and implement them!” —Janelle Orsi

“Sharing Cities imagines a new radical politics of solidarity that goes much beyond the current neoliberal rhetoric of a sharing economy. Its breadth and scope and the range of case studies used to illustrate the argument on a new sharing paradigm are impressive and thought-provoking. Sharing Cities is sure to provoke reflection and action within academic, policy, and civil society circles in times to come.” —Ayona Datta

In January 2016 I presented the book's central argument - that the currently popular economic framing of sharing distracts attention from the wider possibilities of sharing cities - at the 2nd International Workshop on the Sharing Economy. For our working paper and slides see below. Slides from a generic presentation of the books themes are also available (IASS-slides).

In April 2015 Open Commons Linz kindly invited me to to talk about our work: the full script of my lecture is available below, as is a briefing note from the book launch at the RGS conference in 2015. 


McLaren, D. and J. Agyeman, ‘Smart for a reason. Sustainability and social inclusion in the sharing city’. Chapter 13 in Creating Smart Cities (eds. Coletta et al, 2019) Routledge: London.

Sharing Cities thinkpiece (with Adrianne Schaefer-Borrego) for Friends of the Earth's Big Ideas project. 

McLaren, D. and J. Agyeman, ‘Sharing and the Urban Commons’. Chapter in Imminent Commons: Urban Questions for the Near Future. Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, (2018). Actar: Barcelona.  

McLaren, D. and J. Agyeman, ‘Sharing Cities for a Smart and Sustainable Future’. Chapter in In a Post-Urban World, (eds. Haas and Westlund, 2018). Routledge.

Agyeman, J. and D. McLaren, Commentary: Sharing Cities. Environment Magazine. 59(3): (2017) 22-27

McLaren, D. and J. Agyeman, ‘Sharing Cities: Governing the City as Commons’. Chapter in J.M. Ramos, (ed) The City as Commons: A Policy Reader. The Commons Transition Coalition, Melbourne, Australia (2016)

Media and Opinion

Sharing the Urban Commons. Duncan McLaren and Julian Agyeman, Geographical Magazine, Feb 2017.

Sharing strikes back: a new era of urban commoning. D. McLaren and J. Agyeman, The World Financial Review, Sept/Oct 2016.

Apps don’t make a city smart. J. Agyeman and D. McLaren, Boston Globe Aug 14, 2016

Sharing without sharing: the strange case of Medellín. D. McLaren and J. Agyeman, Shareable, Feb 24, 2016

Sharing power: the crucial challenge for sharing cities. D. McLaren and J. Agyeman, Shareable, Feb 29, 2016

Sharing and Sustainability: more than bums on bikes. D. McLaren and J. Agyeman, I.Ambiente Cities, Feb 16, 2016

How to build smart, sharing cities. D. McLaren and J. Agyeman, Boston Globe Jan 15, 2016

Smart Cities’ should mean ‘Sharing Cities’. J. Agyeman, and D. McLaren, Time Ideas, Sept 29, 2014.

Interview on 'Primetime with Henry Shinn' on TBS 101.3 eFM in Seoul, South Korea ( September 24th, 2014. You can listen to the interview below.

Linked files