political

Amsterdam creates Airbnb system for giving residents use of spare council offices

Interesting news from Amsterdam:

Amsterdam has developed an Airbnb for city-owned offices, so residents can use them for free, and may do the same with municipal cars and tools.

The project is due to be launched by the city government with access to some 15 underused meeting rooms around the turn of the year, and will be extended to more rooms along with vehicles and tools if it is a success.

‘You walk through these buildings and all these meeting rooms are empty,’ Nanette Schippers, an official in the city’s Chief Technology Office and one of the creators of the project, told Apolitical. ‘It’s just a waste, especially when you know people need those spaces. We spoke to our Facilities people and they were really enthusiastic and eager to help, so we thought: let’s just start.’

It’s a good example of how creatively embracing the sharing economy mindset is the smart move for political decision makers. It enables them to shape its impact to serve wider social ends, rather than trying to turn back time to a world before it existed.