Since the launch of sharing economy platforms like Airbnb and Uber, various city stakeholders—government officials, advocates, academics, and the private sector—have extolled the public potential of sharing economy data. Cities have discussed data’s value particularly in regulatory, evaluative, and policy contexts. Despite this, prior to 2018, only a handful of local government agencies had enacted policies requiring such platforms to share operational data with municipal officials. The emergence of micromobility in recent years has led to a potential sea change, with cities increasingly utilizing policy mechanisms to require data as a precondition for certain kinds of urban platforms to operate in their jurisdictions.
Existing scholarship on platform urbanism has established the significance of digitally networked “platform” business models to cities, explored the impact and implications of platform technology deployments in urban space, and documented the centrality of data—both in the operations and governance of 21st century cities and in the production of urban platform power. This report builds on previous work by (1) calling attention to platform urbanism data sharing (PUDS) mandates as representative of a novel type of local government policy and (2) by offering a new theoretical account of its origins and ascendant significance.