Common front to negotiate with large digital platforms

During the international Sharing Cities Summit 2018, Barcelona and 49 other cities from around the world adhered to a declaration of principles and commitments for collaborative cities. The agreement consists of ten principles aimed at regulating digital platforms, guaranteeing that the right to the city is not impaired by this type of economic activity and promoting shared alternatives based on socially responsible models.

14/11/2018 15:48 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The sudden surge in car-sharing companies, tourist accommodation and home delivery companies using digital platforms to connect providers and consumers has brought some negative aspects with it. What may appear as a collaborative economy initiative can actually hide precarious labour conditions, high profits and risks for some economic sectors, as well as changes in usages such as putting potential residential housing to use as tourist accommodation, much more lucrative.

Because of this, the first point of the joint declaration presented today at the Smart City Expo World Congress sets out a series of qualities which digital platforms must have to be considered collaborative enterprises. These include an economically responsible model and democratic governance, with policies of open knowledge, open technology and a positive social and environmental impact.

The declaration also establishes the conditions which all digital platforms must guarantee:

  • Empower people so they have the chance to earn or increase their income through new adapted labour and tax agreements.
  • Guarantee fair, legal and effective remuneration.
  • Guarantee equal and fair access to work for people of all socio-economic profiles, gender and origins.
  • Guarantee and support health, hygiene and safety standards.
  • Promote sustainable practices.
  • Implement policies so that personal data are controlled by citizens and protected from wrongful use or from being collected and shared without explicit consent being given.
  • Guarantee respect for new legal frameworks established by cities for regulating digital platforms.
  • Promote the development of local economic ecosystems of collaboration, particularly among SMEs.
  • Preserve the right to the city and common urban assets, strengthen communities, protect the general interest, public space and basic human rights.


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