What is a Sharing City?

The sharing city economy - whether it be sharing accommodation, cars, clothes or other equipment - may be gaining traction, but the concept is not so new. Communities have shared surplus goods and expensive resources for millennia.

In recent times, the internet and creation of digital apps has made it so much easier for people with extra goods, underused assets or specialist skills to find other people in need of those goods, assets or services.

I believe that just as the sharing economy supported communities of the past, it will provide many of the jobs and opportunities of the future in its 21st Century form.

The Greens value cooperation and sharing towards creating a more resilient, healthy, equitable, self-organised and inclusive community.


The Sharing City Map is up

You can find out where the sharing action is happening in your local neighbourhood with one click.

The Greens have released a Sharing City Map which shows the location of Canberra's diverse and rapidly growing sharing activities.

This link will open the Sharing City Map Version 1.0.

The Map looks like this:


Canberra: Sharing City Map


This new interactive map was created by the ACT Greens, with the assistance of students from ANU Fenner School, to show Canberra’s growing sharing economy. Our goal is to promote Canberra’s shared resources - from little libraries to big community gardens - to strengthen collaboration, community and sustainable living. 

To add your sharing group to the map, send an email to canberrasharingcity@gmail.com


Tell us your ideas

The ACT Greens MLAs are interested in your views on how the ACT Government can play a more active role in nurturing the local sharing community. Take this short Sharing City Survey.

We'd like to work collaboratively to develop a comprehensive campaign to support the sharing economy in this progressive city.

To stay in touch, join the Sharing City Facebook group.


Mapping Canberra’s sharing community

On 11 August we convened a workshop to map Canberra’s sharing economy assets, groups and activities.

Opening the event, Shane Rattenbury explained “We are taking this initiative because the Greens value cooperation and sharing towards creating a more resilient, healthy, equitable, self-organised and inclusive community. These actions also reduce excessive consumption, waste and pollution.”



                          Shane Rattenbury opens the MapJam workshop      


A cross-section of Canberra’s growing sharing community participated in the workshop including Buy Nothing Groups, The Food Co-op, Co-Canberra, Global Learning, SEE-Change, Lil Street Libraries, Transition Streets, Repair Café, The Housing Co-op, The Green Institute and Urban Homesteading Club.

Tim Hollo, director of The Green Institute (and now lead candidate running for the Federal seat of Canberra) spoke about the origins of the global Sharing Cities movement and its distinguishing values—grassroots innovation, social justice, economic democracy and ecological sustainability.


                           Tim Hollo speaks about the Sharing City movement


The Benefits


By sharing resources, our communities can use less energy and produce less waste - contributing to better environmental and climate change outcomes.

Canberrans are forward-looking and early adopters of new ideas and technologies, but we have a problem with consumption.

Research shows that the amount of land required to support our demand for goods and services, and absorb our waste (including greenhouse gases), is the highest in Australia and more than three times the world average.  Our ‘ecological footprint’ averaged 8.9 global hectares for each ACT resident in 2011-12, or an astounding 14 times the land area of the Territory.

By sharing, any one resource is used by a greater number of people increasing the efficiency of resources - simple as that! 


It’s said that a true sharing economy activity satisfies an economic need while also delivering relational benefits. For example, a community garden can feed your family, while also building care, trust and resilience within your neighbourhood.

Sharing can build community, as the relationship between a sharer and sharee is more connected in most cases than a seller and sellee.


Sharing can provide people with access to goods who can't afford to buy them through traditional means, and assist people on a tight budget make ends meet.

It can also keep money within the community and provide new opportunities for flexible and independent work, revitalising local economies. 

Sharing in Canberra

We are pleased to see sharing city projects emerging in Canberra. Visit SEE-Change and Canberra Environment Centre to find out more. 

The Greens will continue to support innovation in many areas of the sharing economy, including bike-sharing, car-pooling, re-distributing surplus food, farmers markets, business incubators, pop-up spaces, renewable energy co-operatives, community gardens, re-purposed buildings, crowd-source funding and ethical investment.