The Urban Sharing team kicked off December with another great opportunity to discuss urban sharing. Oksana Mont, Matthias Lehner and Lucie Zvolska attended a seminar in Malmö, Sweden titled “Advancing Sustainable Cities – Implementing Agenda 2030“, which focused on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an urban context. The seminar was organised by the Lund University Urban Arena, which was a part of a larger conference Sustainable City Development 2016. The seminar was coordinated by Lena Neij, the Director of IIIEE, with six speakers followed by a panel discussion. 

Michael Woodbridge, from the ICLEI World Secretariat, discussed the challenges local governments face when implementing SDGs, such as dealing with complex sustainability issues and decreasing budgets. James Evans, from University of Manchester and Guest Professor at the IIIEE, presented academia’s viewpoint of SDGs and called for collaboration between students and cities.

Subsequent presentations from Lund University researchers presented their perspectives on visions and challenges of Agenda 2030.

Oksana Mont, the Principle Investigator of the Urban Sharing Project and Professor at the IIIEE, introduced the concept of the sharing economy. She talked about its sustainability promises and the potential benefits sharing has for cities. 

Eric Clark talked about the role of public space in the construction of our society and elevated the issues associated with increased privatisation of the public space. This trend contradicts the 11th SDG stating that cities should strive to be more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
The next presenter, Marie-Claude Dubois, provided practical observations about new building developments in Sweden. Many new building developments tend to be taller and built more closely together than existing apartment or office buildings. As a result, they lack access to direct sunlight, which increases energy consumption for artificial lighting and heating.

The closing presentation was delivered by Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren on the roles of municipalities in the processes of sustainable urban renewal. She presented her framework, which considers the roles of cities as promoter, enabler, partner and inhibitor of sustainable innovation. The Urban Sharing team will be taking a similar perspective in one of their upcoming papers on sharing in cities.

The workshop concluded with a panel discussion with all of the above speakers, and gave space for questions from the audience. The panellists discussed the future of the sharing economy in terms of sharing jobs and skills. Importance was placed on the role of regulation and legislation for tackling sustainable urban issues. Finally, it was suggested that communicating urban sustainable development through the lens of public health may be a more effective driver for change.