Portland will be the first Shared City in the United States.
Portland is known as an advocate for green tech, conservation, and co-working spaces, which is why AirBnB has chosen it to be the first of many Shared Cities. Aside from creating a rental marketplace, the company wants to support local businesses, help collect and remit taxes to the city of Portland on behalf of their hosts, and develop other campaigns that will encourage a shared economy throughout the city.
One of the main tenets is that Airbnb will make it easy for Portland hosts to donate money they earn from the site to a local cause, which Airbnb will match as a percentage of their fees. The company has also made smoke and carbon monoxide detectors free for hosts in Portland and across the country, to ensure their own safety and the safety of their guests.
To help promote the city and highlight local businesses that represent the best of a shared economy, Airbnb will also be working with Travel Portland to come up with joint campaigns that help define Portland as a shining example of a shared city.
On top of their already established Disaster relief program, AirBnB also wants to work with Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Management to create training programs that ensure local residents are able to respond when crisis strikes.
Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of AirBnB, describes his vision in more detail on Medium: “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.”
AirBnB already has a lot of experience when it comes to sharing, and even though sharing an entire city is a big challenge, they are one of the best positioned companies to try and make it happen. It’s also an idea that comes at just the right time, when people are waking up to the fact that the world can’t support us unless we find a better way to manage the resources that we do have left.