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Local government initiatives in Europe


A street festival in Kreuzberg, Berlin [Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]
1. Buy-out buyers

Fearful of gentrification, and of international investors and other landlords who hike up rents, the Berlin Borough of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is blocking investors from buying apartment buildings by purchasing the properties itself.

Sales are being directed toward a state- owned independent housing association committed to affordable rents. The method could set a precedent for other cities across Europe to do the same.

Source: The Berlin borough buying out private landlords, by Feargus O’Sullivan.

2. Sharing cities

As part of Amsterdam’s title of Europe’s first “sharing city”, local government has taken on the task of developing digital platforms that connect citizens and facilitate swaps.

They embrace apps that let neighbours and visitors rent parked cars and unused storage space, share tools and skills, and share home cooked meals. Studies show that the tools have not only made Amsterdam more sustain- able, but friendlier too.

Source: Amsterdam harnesses the sharing economy for social good

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