Tweet chat: Re-imagining Cities through Collaboration

Is the urban economy the same as the sharing economy? How is the collaborative economy affecting the way we live, work, move and create in cities? Does it have the same meaning in European and American cities? These are some of the ideas discussed in our latest monthly New Cities Summit 2014 Tweet chat.

Our “Re-imagining Cities through Collaboration” Tweet chat was moderated by the New Cities Foundation (@newcitiesfound) in partnership with our friends at OuiShare (@OuiShare). We were joined by featured guests from a spectrum of fields, who over the course of one hour explored the impact of the collaborative economy in the urban world.

#Tweet chat featured guests

Albert Cañigueral (connector at OuiShare), Michel Bauwens (founder of the Foundation for P2P Alternatives), Neal Gorenflo (co-founder of Shareable), Javier Creus (founder of Ideas for a Change), Stefano Serafini (founder member and director of research International Society of Biourbanism), Vicente Guallart (Chief Architect, City of Barcelona), John Thackara (founder of Doors of Perception), Groupe ChronosLaure Wagner (Corporate Communication Manager and member of the Founding Team of BlaBlaCar), Diane Prébay (PR Manager France, BlaBlaCar), Arun Sundararajan (Professor and NEC Faculty Fellow at NYU Stern and NYU CUSP), Odile Beniflah (Senior Global Marketing Manager at Carpooling), Alexa Clay (author, Misfit Economy), Lorenzo Brambille (co-founder of Collaboriamo), Isobel Roberts (Web Producer at Nesta for Europe Commons), Tomás de Lara (Collaborative economy specialist, co-founder of O Sujeito), Tia Kansara (founder of Kansara Hackney), The Crystal (sustainable cities initiative by Siemens), Helen Goulden (executive director for Nesta’s innovation lab) and Emile Hooge (Director of Mission of Nova7)

#Tweet chat highlights

How is the collaborative economy affecting city life? Is it the same as the urban economy

Urban and collaborative economy are different but both aim at ending “waste” and optimizing urban ressources such as cars @LaureWagner


Today more than ever city, politics, and economy merge. City is the pre-condition of the two others @StefanoSerafini11


Collaborative economy has many different models, some of them non-profit, other profitable, while “urban economy” is generic @GroupeChronos


Collaborative economy is based on horizontal networks, while urban economy often works in vertical silos, unfortunately… @EHooge


Cities are machines to transform goods into trash. A real urban economy should produce things locally & share information globally @VicenteGuallart


Hopefully allows cities to overcome anomie and social isolation of urban environments @AlexaClay


It already can. Shared office space, ride sharing, bike renting, distributed making, communities of people sharing resources… @HelenGou


Collaborative economy could weave equity & resilience in the DNA of cities, that is if we design it that way. Not a given. @Gorenflo


How can urban public policy and urban environments foster the collaborative economy? Is its impact the same in Europe and America?

On the top 10 policies for collaborative cities, … @TomasdeLara


A guess: European cities are denser and therefore easier to transform into a communicative and collaborative marketplace @TheCrystalOrg


Even in the US, the effects of the collaborative economy are not the same in cities such as SF and Detroit. What do you think? @OuiShare


Same effect but answering different needs. In America sharing economy is necessary to pay for college/rent/medical @Obeniflah


More sharing economy in Europe. they seem to know how to share better than US @DigitalArun


How many cities in a city? many collaborative initiatives happen in neighborhoods, or mainly in touristic cities @JaviCreus


The users of the collaborative services are the communities re-shaping cities. Platforms and regulators are just facilitators @AlbertCanig


Urban Public Spaces as Commons … @mbauwens


Communities are traversing between virtual & physical world, combination of both important @EuropeCommons


Can you give any examples of collaborative initiatives happening in your city?

To close the discussion, we asked participants to talk about their own observations of how the sharing economy is shaping urban life in their home cities.


The Food Commons (in Fresno, Atlanta): the degree zero and birthplace of Big Ag – and of its successor … @JohnThackara


Paris is the place for collaborative consumption! @BlaBlaCar_FR @airbnb_fr @OuiShareFest @drivy @DianePrebay


In Italy “social streets” are flourishing everywhere: get to know, help and be helped by your neighbours, even w/o a tech platform @LoreBram


Swindon, near London, was one of the first to research into the collaborative economy 10 years ago. @2050City


Thank you!

Thanks to all our featured guests, and to all the others who joined the discussion. We hope to hear from you again in our next Tweet chat session on May 14, which will focus on “Re-imagining Cities through Arts & Culture”.

You can view more highlights of the conversation here on Storify.

To find out more about the New Cities Summit 2014, visit and check the #NCS2014 hash tag on Twitter