The third workshop of the Urban Clinic EDU@LabGov 2019 took place on Friday the 15th of March into the Viale Romania Campus of LUISS University. The workshop has inaugurated the start of the third module of the course. The module was dedicated to “Urban Law and Policy”. Indeed, the Laboratory hosted three important experts on these themes: prof. Christian Fernando Iaione, lawyer Nico Moravia, and dr. Paola Marzi.
Iaione, the scientific co-director of LabGov, teaches Urban Law and Policy and
Urbanistic Law at LUISS University.
Moravia is partner of the law firm Pavia-Ansaldo (administrative law department).
Marzi is an official of the municipality of Rome as Head of the office for the
Urban Gardens, and has a long experience on these themes since she has
participated in the drafting of the Regulation of Urban Gardens of Rome.
workshop was introduced by the speech of Prof. Iaione, who talked about his
experiences in the urban regeneration field. He exposed the project of
Co-Bologna (http://co-bologna.it/): the
program started 7 years ago and its effects were such as to spread his
principles in Italian cities like Turin, Rome and Reggio-Emilia, but also in
others parts of the world like New York, Amsterdam and Sao Paulo.
experiences demonstrated how important is to rewrite administrative and
urbanistic legislation in order to face all the problems brought in the cities
by the changes of the third millennium. What is fundamental in this process is
the participative paradigm, that means involving as much as possible all the
different urban stakeholder in order to re-define the way of living the urban
Moravia showed how it worked in the roman context, by showing the case of the
Ex-Dogana: an un-used space, owned by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, brought back
to life by the efforts of four young entrepreneurs. The cohesion of legal,
human and economics competences, made possible to find a new and simple
solution, like a temporary leasing contract, and create what now is one of the
most important experiences of this kind in Rome.
One of the
sectors where the participative paradigm is more successful and better applied
is the urban garden’s one. Dr. Marzi explained how gardens are the place where
it is possible to focus all the energies and differences of a neighborhood, not
only as a place where plants grow, but as an instrument of social inclusion,
that generates wellness and new solutions to co-live the city by building up new
forms of community.
Module of the Urban Clinic LabGov EDU 2019 continued with the Co-Working
session, held on March 16th. The co-working session is facilitated
by Chiara De Angelis, Friends of LabGov’s ex-president.
Co-Working session took place in the LUISS Campus of Viale Romania and it started
at 10 am with Pasquale Tedesco’s testimony, expert of Confagricoltura ().
He talked about
the importance of the relationship between Earth and Nature and the fortune to
enjoy some products that Earth offers.
inspirational session, Chiara De Angelis explained the Labgovers service
design, an important passage to complete and improve the idea that they’re
developing during this A.A. of LabGov EDU. For this reason, the LabGovers were
divided into groups in order to select the “personas” (consumer type) of their
product/service, basing on their previous research.
In the afternoon, the LabGovers developed the user journey map to describe the possible experience consumers might have through the platform that they are developing.
the date: next Saturday, 9th March we will host the first EDU@LabGov
community gardening session in Luiss Community Garden from 10 am to 12am.
LabGovers will work with recycled materials in order to build a prototype that
they will install in Luiss and in the city of Rome. If you are interested in
following their work, follow our official social network!
the community gardening session, the LabGovers will put into practice what they are learning during the forms in the classroom
therefore it will represent ahead important footstep in the realization of
The assisted gardening is not only a didactic
moment but an activity of practical collaborative among the boundaries of the University
Luiss Guido Carli, that then the students will experiment on the field in the
city of Rome.
Save the date: Sabato 9 marzo si terrà
il primo community gardening della Clinica Urbana EDU@LabGov presso l’#OrtoLuiss
dalle 10:00 alle 12:00.
Durante la sessione di community
gardening i LabGovers, divisi dapprima in quattro gruppi sulle diverse aree di
lavoro, dovranno presentare i dati raccolti nel corso della settimana e
iniziare a dar forma al loro progetto. Inizieranno quindi un laboratorio di
auto-costruzione che, tramite l’utilizzo di materiali riciclati, li porterà a
realizzare un prototipo che installeranno nella città di Roma. Se volete
saperne di più rimanete connessi ai nostri account social ufficiali quel
è mettere in pratica ciò che gli studenti stanno apprendendo durante i moduli
in aula, quindi rappresenterà un importante passo avanti nella realizzazione
della loro idea.
Il gardening assistito non è solo un
momento didattico ma un’attività di pratica collaborativa tra le mura
dell’Università Luiss Guido Carli, che poi gli studenti sperimenteranno sul
campo nella città di Roma.
The emergence of digital platforms has disrupted traditional consumption paradigms, giving rise to a new concept of economy – commonly named as sharing economy –, where ownership has been replaced by temporary, on-demand, and mediated access to goods and services shared by multiple individuals, including human labour, for monetary or non-monetary gain..
From an economic perspective, its creative business models have disrupted many traditional industries, as transportation, accomodation and more over, by fundamentally changing the mechanism of matching demand with supply side in real time . Almost numerous peer-to-peer platforms—in the likes of crowd-working (e.g., Airbnb, Uber, Amazon Mechanic Turk, E-Lance, Fiverr), co-innovation (e.g., Mindmixer, Social Innovator), crowd-funding (e.g., Kickstarter, Indiegogo), crowd-searching (e.g., Crowdfynd, CrowdSearching), and crowd-voting (e.g., California Report Card, Threadless) — have sprung up to facilitate both individuals and/or organizations to pool resources in resolving problems.
Sharing is, above all, an old social practice which is currently being expanded and redefined through the addition of information technologies.
Critics, overall raised, have painted a dismal picture of this phenomenon as a means for individuals – as well as firms – to dodge proper regulations and live beyond their means, which in turn contributes to doomsday scenarios of massive job displacements and spending habits detrimental to society.
Outlining the field of public transportation, Uber is the well – known platform which facilitates trusted transactions between strangers, that is made possible by instantaneous internet communication and changes in the life, work, and purchasing habits of individual entrepreneurs and consumers.
The service provided aims at connecting individuals with non-professional drivers: this creates economic and other value, but it simultaneously raises a set of concerns around racial bias, safety, and fairness to competitors and workers that legal scholarship has begun to address. In light of the opportunities and challenges posed by, there is a clear urgency for a systematic and thorough scrutiny of how value creation and appropriation can take place within such economic environments, while minimizing its negative impact to society. The debate is becoming increasingly prominent in the context of the use of such service deals whether, and how, their operation should be regulated, or possibly deregulated, in correlation with their offline counterparts.
Uber and similar rideshare services are rapidly dispersing in cities across the United States and beyond. As a growing number of lawsuits are filed against Uber, several states have inaugurated reforms hoping to mitigate such problems:
California  established a new category of motor vehicle carriers known as Transportation Network Companies, that do not recognize Uber as a taxi service and require Uber drivers “to have certain insurance, perform background checks, and maintain drug and alcohol policies to ensure drivers are law abiding”;
Washington D.C.’s “Vehicle for Hire Innovation Amendment Act,” which creates a new class for services like Uber, enforcing background checks and inspections, and specifically forbidding the manipulating fare charges.
While these policies work to ensure consumer protection, they still exempts companies like Uber from the numerous other regulations taxicab companies are subject to.
The European legal framework is not very different. Since its debut in 2011, this online taxi-hailing app has encountered tremendous opposition from local taxi services, which complain it unfairly competes by bypassing local licensing and safety laws.
With opposition growing all across Europe , the Spanish case referred to the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”)  in 2014 a crucial determination, aimed at establishing whether the service provided by the platform could be merely considered a transport activity, or, on the contrary, “an electronic intermediation or information society service”.
If the ECJ, on the contrary, had determined Uber was a transportation service, it might be subject to local jurisdictional boundaries determined by each member state of the EU, empowering them to determine the legality of Uber’s practice, greatly affecting the growth and future of the sharing economy in Europe.
The ECJ found, in the judgment of December 20th, that Uber’ service was more than an intermediation one: it observed that the Uber app was “indispensable for both the drivers and the persons who wish to make an urban journey”.
As already emphasized by the Conclusion of the Advocate General, the UberPop service has been considered a mixed service.
In this regard, the Court declared that an intermediation service such as that, whose purpose is to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration, non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys, must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and classified as a servicein the field of transport. Consequently, it must be excluded from the scope of the freedom to provide services in general of the Service Directive, as well as the ones about the internal market and electronic commerce.
Therefore, the transport sector falls under art. 4, par. 2 TFEU, one of the areas in which the European Union has competing powers with the Member States.
Even if this new qualification, many other question, mainly about labour issues, over the status of drivers, cannot be considered solved.
In this regard, Uber has recently won a legal battle in France. The proceeding was about the employment status of drivers and it pointed out the complexity of every definitory or regulatory approach.
The French labour Tribunal, in contrast with Uk ruling, has decided Uber cannot be considered as an employer instead of be qualified as an indipendent contractor.
These issues lead us to reflect any regulation of the phenomenon is not further delayed. However, any approach lacking of a holistic view should be avoided: sharing economy is such a complex phenomenon, which includes competing priorities, involving public, private but also fundamental rights. For this reason, every rulemaking process – as the Italian one – should seize the opportunity to proceed with consistent but, above all, effective reforms.
La recente sentenza della Corte di giustizia del 20 dicembre 2017 costituisce un tassello importante nella nota vicenda Uber, fornendo un importante orientamento per le singole legislazioni nazionali.
 S. Ranchordas, K. Zurek, Z. Gedeon, Home-Sharing in the Digital Economy: The Cases of Brussels, Stockholm, and Budapest: Impulse Paper prepared for the European Commission, www.europa.eu.
 Z. Li, Y. Hong, Yili, Z. Zhang, Do On-demand Ride-sharing Services Affect Traffic Congestion? Evidence from Uber Entry (August 30, 2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2838043.
 R. Belk, R., Sharing, Journal of Consumer Research, 36(5) (2010), pp. 715-734.
 M. Murphy, Cities as the Original Sharing Platform: Regulation of the New “Sharing” Economy (2017), 12 J. Bus. & Tech. L. 127, p. 1.
 R. Calo, A. Rosenblat, The Taking Economy: Uber, Information, and Power (2017), Columbia Law Review, Vol. 117, 2017; University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2017-08, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2929643.
 M. Anderson, M. Huffman, The Sharing Economy Meets the Sherman Act: Is Uber a Firm, a Cartel, or Something in Between? (2017), Columbia Business Law Review, Forthcoming; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2017-8, available at https://ssrn.com/abstract=2954632.
 Barbara Berwick v Uber Technologies Inc., Labor Commissioner, State of California, State Case Number: 11–46739 EK, 3 June 2015, 43 W. St. U. L. Rev. 321 (2016), p. 2.
 William Louch, EU Commission Launces Study on Uber, PARLIAMENT MAG. (Sept. 1, 2015), https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/news/eu-commission-launches-study-uber.
 Julia Fioretti & Andrew Callus, Spanish Judge Asks EU Top Court for Key Uber Ruling, REUTERS (Jul. 20, 2015),
The concept of Sharing Economy during the last years has become quite mainstream, even if the phenomenon represents one of the major disruptive innovations of the last century. Sharing is not something new of course, as it is an old concept as old as human civilization, to quote Gregory Hodkinson (Chairman, Arup Ltd and Chair of the World Economic Forum System Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative). But in the last years, thanks to the Internet and to the ICTs, new trends and mindsets about sharing have emerged. The proliferation of peer-to-peer social networks, together with global recession, an increased environmental awareness and the desire to rebuild social bonds and communities, have brought to the development and spread of the Sharing Economy. The WEF whitepaper underlines that the popularity of the phrase “sharing economy” has increased sixteenfold since 2013 according to Google Trends. Nevertheless, since there is not a common and unique definition, the term is often confused with overlapping terminologies such as “collaborative economy”, “on-demand economy”, “gig economy”, “freelance economy”, “peer economy”, “access economy”, “crowd economy”, “digital economy” and “platform economy” (see the distinction proposed by April Rinne on the WEF blog).
The spread of the phenomenon is having impacts on our way to consume, produce, distribute, work and travel, ultimately transforming our lives, boosting social cohesion and offering chances to reduce the environmental footprint.
As noted by Cheryl Martin, Head of Industries, World Economic Forum “while sharing may often decrease the cost of access, it also has the potential to address long-term societal challenges such as making cities more inclusive and building social connections between groups that might otherwise never have interacted. In experimenting with sharing practices, however, cities will also have to be agile in addressing externalities and disruption to their planning processes, policy formulation and regulatory structures”.
Gregory Hodkinson takes the same view: “The sharing economy is making cities redefine land-use strategies, minimize their costs, optimize public assets and collaborate with other actors (for-profits, non-profits, social enterprises, communities and other cities) in developing policies and frameworks that encourage continued innovation in this area”.
The WEF with its whitepaper is indeed exploring potential opportunities and challenges of the sharing economy in cities offering examples and solutions from cities around the world. It makes the case that sharing in cities can have a transformative impact – boosting the economy and nurturing a sense of community by bringing people into contact with one another, facilitating neighborliness, and improving the environment by making the most efficient use of resources. Cities have a potential role in facilitating/enabling and harnessing the sharing business models by fostering partnerships that shape a “sharing and collaborative” culture across all industry sectors.
The whitepaper is structured on answering 7 main questions:
1. What does Sharing Economy mean for cities?
“The collaborative dynamics of the sharing economy have creative implications for cities. Sharing can create a sense of community among strangers, which helps to facilitate trust and social inclusion. From an environmental perspective, sharing can reduce overall use of resources through practices such as carpooling and co-working facilities. Sharing can also supplement supply in periods of peak demand […] rather than turning to additional construction”. The sharing economy platforms are growing in number and size all over the world and more and more people affirm to use their services. In some cities sharing practices are specifically used to increase inclusiveness (in US good example are Los Angeles and Minneapolis).
2. Who are the actors of the Sharing Economy?
The whitepaper identifies 6 categories: 1. Individual users (those who use P2P or B2P platforms for economic, social or environmental reasons); 2. For-Profit enterprises (profit-seekers who engage in buying, selling, lending, renting or trading with the aid of digital technologies – platforms, to lower transaction costs); 3. Social Enterprises/cooperatives (primarily motivated by social or ecological reasons); 4. Local Communities (Actors at the local or neighborhood level / non-profit and informal models; transactions are mainly non-monetized, inter-personal connection is emphasized); 5. Non-profit Enterprises (non-business actors with the primary motivation of advancing a mission or purpose); 6. Public Sector/Government (using public infrastructure to support or forge partnerships with other actors to promote innovative forms of sharing).
3. What are the drivers of sharing?
“The economic, social and environmental drivers of participating in the sharing economy vary across sociodemographic groups and between users and providers”, for this reason, as reported in the whitepaper many cities have now offices and strategies for promoting sharing.
4. What is being shared in cities?
Individuals and collectives (social enterprises, cooperatives, for-profit and communities) can share a wide range of things, related to nine major groups: 1. Mobility and transportation; 2. Spaces; 3. Skills and talent; 4. Financing; 5. Health; 6. Utilities; 7. General Goods; 8. Food and 9. Learning.
The whitepaper emphasizes what can be shared by the city government since cities “can leverage the potential of the sharing economy in municipal goods, municipal spaces, civic assets, municipal services and skills and talent of city resident such as:
Municipal goods: City-owned equipment, machinery, vehicles and other goods can be shared among departments or with neighboring municipalities;
Municipal Spaces and Civic Assets: these include civic amenities or spaces such as gardens, subways, city run schools, hospitals and libraries, and city recreational centers. Idle capacity in municipal spaces can be used for urban farming, pop-up shops, parking and start-up hubs, supporting local business and culture. For example, Seoul operates a website to reserve sports facilities, lecture halls and meeting rooms for educational and cultural events;
Municipal Services: municipal governments in many areas have collaborative agreements to facilitate providing services to the citizens they serve, and have been working together in this way since long before the sharing economy”
5. How can cities share?
Sometimes cities directly facilitate sharing practices, in other cases, this role is covered by non-governmental entities (private sector, local communities, non-profit and social enterprises). The report identifies a two-step process:
Focus on the purpose of a sharing city: economic, socio-cultural development or environmental sustainability;
Focus on government role(s) in a sharing city: government can act as a regulator; facilitator/enabler; integrator/implementer; collaborator.
6. What are the issues and challenges in the sharing economy?
Recalling the work of Agyeman and McLaren, the white paper remembers that sharing economy practices can increase multicultural interactions through 1. Revolution; 2. Subversion; 3. Reinvention. According to the two authors, the best opportunities for a systemic change come from combining reinvention and subversion to “seek interlinked opportunities to enhance well-being, increase justice and equity and spread participative democracy”.
The report identifies 6 main challenges divided into two groups:
Challenges in market-driven sharing:
Establishing trust and reputation
Ensuring safety and security
Uncertain effects of social equality
More exclusive than inclusive
Challenges in purpose-driven sharing (for social and/or environmental reasons):
Guiding sharing towards improving public infrastructure and services
Accountability and transparency in collective/collaborative governance
For each challenge, the whitepaper reports cities examples.
7. How should sharing be regulated?
“Governments first have to understand the intricacies of the specific operating model and its implications – whether economic (taxes, monopolies), legal (redefining labour laws that cater to freelancers) or social (protecting the rights of participants). Cities have to work to involve all necessary levels of government: Seoul illustrates the challenge, as the city government is promoting sharing initiatives within its own scope but higher-level laws and administrative regulations have not caught up”. The whitepaper identifies some key points:
Striking a balance: governments should encourage innovation and competition and protect the interest of citizens at the same time; adopting a bottom-up approach or a top-down one.
Playing fair (legal): cities have to ensure healthy competition among traditional and new business models, identifying where to apply a different regulatory treatment.
Defining applicable taxes and fees (legal) avoiding unclear or unfair taxation structures; cities should define a regulatory framework that incorporates the views and concerns of all stakeholders (the sharing platforms, traditional market players and participants across different sectors).
Self-regulation (legal) that can decrease the pressure on regulatory bodies and allow the government to observe trends before taking corrective steps.
Protecting data (social): sharing platforms collect, store, analyze a lot of valuable data of their participants (including transactional and non-transactional data) that should be protected; they are also useful for city government in the urban city planning
“The challenge of regulating sharing-economy platforms is complex. Governments have to avoid deterring innovation while trying to achieve economic, social or environmental goals. It is, therefore, important for them to have flexibility in their regulatory approach”.
As Hazem Galal, PwC Global Cities and Government Leader, said: “Regulatory and tax structures need to be revisited to address these concerns as sharing platforms begin to scale across different sectors of the economy. At the same time, developing a culture of sharing within cities to improve services with accountability and transparency would go a long way in shaping the ‘sharing cities’ of the future.”
Very interesting and useful is the presence in the whitepaper of many different examples coming from cities all over the world.
Melbourne has become a global leader in the food-sharing sector (144 technology-mediated food-sharing initiatives). The city has a strong start-up and sharing-economy culture driven by entrepreneurial knowledge workers in co-working environments. Increasingly, this is becoming the cornerstone of the central city economy and its real-estate market. There are many enterprises that contribute to the local economy and social causes with their platforms scaling to different parts of the world (see 300 Acres, a community-sharing initiative that facilitates community access to unused city sites, enabling neighbours to establish communal gardens) and the City of Melbourne Open Data platform is a public-sector platform that releases municipal data to encourage innovation by businesses, researchers, students, programmers and data scientists.
Seattle has six “libraries of things” in lower- and mixed-income areas, where citizens can borrow tools. None is run directly by the government, but most have received support through grants or in-kind services to get started. The city, in addition, will invest the taxes it collects from the short-term rental market in community-led projects and paying off bonds for affordable housing.
New York, with the organization 596 Acres, supports residents to reclaim and manage public land for communities. New York, together with Seoul, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Toronto joint the Sharing Cities Alliance. The Alliance aims to enable cities and their citizens to shape their own future through city-to-city collaboration and its main goal is to enable city leaders continue to address the sharing economy.
Barcelona is driving a time-bank project where people exchange their time for doing everyday tasks (currently there are 28 time banks listed on its website). The city is also discussing the idea of the “urban commons” implementing the “Reglamento do Participacion Ciudadana”
London has a crowdfunding platform where citizens can propose project ideas and get City Hall’s support.
Seoul has started in 2012 the “Sharing City, Seoul” project, organizing a sharing promotion committee, a Sharing economy Advisory Board, a Sharing Facilitation Committee and institutionalizing sharing economy practices through an innovation office (Seoul Innovation Division); now it has 97 distinct sharing schemes, from public bicycles to parking spaces to children’s clothes, and it operates a website (http://yeyak.seoul.go.kr/main.web) to shared municipal spaces and civic assets. Seoul is also collaborating with other cities to provide sharing services. In November 2016, the city government and seven other local governments adopted a joint declaration on policy cooperation for the sharing city, including developing and promoting joint programmes for sharing enterprises and groups, exchanging policies, improving the legal system and strengthening cooperation with domestic and overseas cities.
KamaishiCity in Japan is partnering with sharing platforms to prepare for hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Kigali motorbike taxi app SafeMotos uses smartphone data to distinguish safe from unsafe drivers.
Amsterdam opened the reflection about sharing economy thanks to the private social enterprise ShareNL that was instrumental in launching the “Amsterdam Sharing City” initiative in early 2015. Today the city is reasoning on the “urban commons” thanks to the FabCity distributed manufacturing initiative. It is also connecting senior citizens and low-income households to sharing platforms via CityPass.
São Paulo has implemented road-use fees to encourage transport network companies (TNCs) to complement public transit, limiting excess supply during peak hour congestion and augmenting supply when less served.
Bologna has passed a resolution on collaboration between citizens and the city for the care and regeneration of urban commons and developed a “collaborative city” programme (collaboration pacts); it has paved the way for the so-called “Co-City Protocol” that explores forms of shared, collaborative and polycentric urban governance thanks to the extensive work of the co-founders of LabGov, Christian Iaone and Sheila Foster.
The whitepaper, thanks to many contributors (among which also Sheila Foster), aims to improve understanding of the sharing economy’s potential by clarifying terminology; exploring examples of what kinds of goods and services can be shared, who participates in sharing platforms and why; and discussing the challenges created by the sharing economy and how authorities can respond. It takes stocks on the role of cities in integrating/implementing solutions for sharing of (or collaborating on) public assets and services and/or collaborating with other cities, enterprises (for-profit or not-for-profit) and other stakeholders to make the most of a city’s assets.
It can be considered a first important step in systematizing all the experiences arising in the world about sharing economy and city government, from which go even further.
Il World Economic Forum – su mandato del Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative – ha recentemente pubblicato il suo ultimo Libro Bianco: «Collaboration in Cities: From Sharing to ‘Sharing Economy’». Un documento nel quale sono messe in evidenza le potenziali opportunità ma anche le sfide e le difficoltà che la sharing economy veicola nelle e per le città; nonché una serie di approcci adottati da varie città nel mondo e possibili soluzioni.
From January 8 to 12, Amsterdam is going to host “The Circle City: planning for resourceful cities“, a 5-days event aimed at exploring the impact and practice of the principles of circularity in developing urban areas, housing and public space.
The 2018 edition of the Studio will be focused on trying to address and answer some of the principal question about the principle of circularity. How can cities reuse their resources to provide for housing, public spaces and urban qualities? How can planning reduce the environmental impact of urban development? What type of policies and projects can we design in make urban space more adaptive to energy, waste and water resources?
The format of the Studio combines critical scholarship, policy making and case study analysis in the context of Amsterdam Region. It is organized around 4 topics:
Circular flows and urban change: introduction to circularity – panel held on January 8th by Prof. Herbert Girardet;
Spatial fabrics of closed loops development – panel held on January 10th by Paul Jansen and Jeremy Croes;
Social reciprocity or sharing costs: privatisation or commoning in localities– panel held on January 11 by LabGov’s co-founder, prof Christian Iaione;
The politics of the circular democracy – panel held on January 12 by Prof Erik Swyngedouw.
On January 13 the Studio will host the final presentations of student projects, attending experts Marjolein Brasz and Andre Struker.
On Wednesday 10th, the Studio will open a public debate at Pakhuis de Zwijger at 19.30, looking at the political challenges of circular economic development related to urban democracy, urban regeneration and economic growth together with international discussants: