Facing Changing Climate, San Francisco Prepares to Share


Share Graffiti
The city of San Francisco is tapping into sharing technologies in preparation for storms and rising sea levels. 

When climate change unleashes storms and rising seal levels on the city of San Francisco, its residents will be ready … to share. Mayor Edwin Lee recently announced a partnership between the city’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM) and BayShare, a group of stakeholders in the Bay Area’s sharing economy. The city and its population of tech-savvy, share-friendly environmentalists already have big ideas for repurposing existing apps and online services for use when disaster strikes.

Rory Smith of Shareable imagines it playing out something like this: “think Lyft drivers transporting maintenance personnel to priority areas, Yerdle users offering basic supplies to those in need neighborhood by neighborhood, and Airbnb enabling hosts to provide free accommodation to displaced people.”

Airbnb established a precedent for such use during Hurricane Sandy, when it helped connect 1400 people with free places to stay, writes Smith. And the company thinks that number could rise through use of its new “disaster response mode,” a separate landing page where users can post free rooms without Airbnb’s typical fees, making it quick and simple to list (and find) emergency lodgings.

While the sharing concept is exciting, it’s also tempting to approach this new breed of public-private partnership with suspicion. After all, the “PPP” model has failed the public before, and disaster relief is no exception. Besides, shouldn’t we be able to count on FEMA and other government organizations to do the job?

It’s fair to be wary, and we should be able to count on government to respond—but it doesn’t hurt to create ways for people to help each other out. At the very least, the San Francisco-BayShare partnership offers an improvement over the disaster capitalism we saw after emergencies like Katrina. And by tapping into existing technologies, the city gets a head-start on providing easy-to-use services that could save lives.

7/21/2014 4:07:00 AM

Climate change is truly the cause of so many natural calamities. When the storm and cyclones starts blowing , the residents of San Francisco will be ready to share. A partnership has been implemented between the city’s Department of Emergency Management and bay share.

3/19/2014 4:50:24 PM

“actual emergencies look more like people coming together than cities falling apart. Past disasters—from Sandy to Fukushima—have proven that connected communities are more resilient.” http://www.propaperswriting.com/Child-Labor-Dissertation-Services/

Gareth Gibbs
8/13/2013 9:20:56 AM

Thanks for information! blog

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