Imagine if you could build a city that is shared.
Where people become micro-entrepreneurs,
and local mom and pops flourish once again.
Imagine a city that fosters community,
where space isn’t wasted, but shared with others.
A city that produces more, but without more waste.
While this may seem radical, it’s not a new idea.
Cities are the original sharing platforms.
They formed at ancient crossroads of trade,
and grew through collaboration and sharing resources.
But over time, they began to feel mass produced.
We lived closer together, but drifted further apart.
But sharing in cities is back, and we want to help build this future.
We are committed to helping make cities stronger socially, economically, and environmentally.
We are committed to enriching the neighborhoods we serve.
We celebrate the cultural heritage of cities.
We are committed to being good neighbors.
We are committed to supporting local small businesses.
We are committed to working with cities to share with those in need.
We are committed to fostering and strengthening community.
We believe in bringing back the idea of cities as villages.
We are committed to illuminating the diversity, arts, and character of cities.
We believe cities thrive best with micro-entrepreneurs.
We are committed to the safety of neighborhoods and their homes.
To honor these commitments, and to realize a more enriched city, today we are announcing Shared City.
Shared City is our initiative to help civic leaders and our community create more shareable, more livable cities through relevant, concrete actions and partnerships.
I am very pleased that our first Shared City is Portland, Oregon.
I first met Mayor Hales as we discussed plans to open an office in Portland. We worked with Mayor Hales and his staff to understand how together we can create shared solutions that address Portland’s needs and help them achieve their vision of what a Shared City could be.
Ideas for a Shared Portland:
We will make it easy for Portland hosts to donate the money they earn from Airbnb to a local cause, and we will match those donations as a percentage of our fees.
We have made free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors available to hosts in Portland (and across the country) in order to help our hosts make their homes safer.
We’re offering to cut red tape and to collect and remit taxes to the city of Portland on behalf of our hosts. This is new for us, and if it works well for our community and cities, we may replicate this project in other U.S. cities.
We want to make sure all of our hosts represent the best of Airbnb. Corporate property managers who abuse our platform, hurt the city’s housing stock and give guests a bad experience aren’t welcome on Airbnb and we will work with the city to help ensure hosts cannot abuse our platform.
In addition to our disaster relief program offering free housing in cases of emergency, we will work with Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Management to establish training programs to help our hosts respond to crisis.
We will work with Travel Portland on joint campaigns to promote the city as a destination to our global community, highlighting its unique characteristics and diverse neighborhoods; and sending visitors to local small businesses throughout the city.
It is not a coincidence that Portland is our first Shared City. Portland has a history of being a leader when it comes to urban innovation. Portland has long been a great home for entrepreneurs and has led the way in promoting green tech, conservation, and co-working spaces.
So how can you become a Shared City?
If you want to live in a Shared City, email me your thoughts and ideas for how we can work together: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a city leader that wants to partner with us, or learn more, let us know: email@example.com.
Our goal is to become even better partners with more and more cities over the coming months and years.
We are committed to enriching cities and designing the kind of world we want to live in.
Together, let’s build that shared world city by city.
Bastille neighborhood, Paris, photograph by Marc Olivier Le blanc