This year, our network is celebrating its 30th anniversary. We can proudly look back on the increasing importance that cities are playing in European politics and the achievements and leading role that cities have in shaping the everyday life of people.

Our 2016 awards will be reflecting this special occasion with the topicality of this year’s conference theme that focuses on one of the latest developments in our cities, the emergence of ‘Sharing cities’.

Over the past few years, the sharing economy phenomenon has been gathering momentum. Many cities across Europe are experiencing the emergence and development of new trends and practices related to the collaborative economy.

The sharing economy is a new way of understanding the delivery of goods and services. It represents a new relationship between the economy and society, based on the creation of social ties as the basis for economic exchange. Active and productive citizens are at the heart of this sharing approach. The sharing economy encapsulates a range of trends, such as crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, co-creation, collaborative consumption, peer-to-peer, zero marginal cost production, digitization, social media, open source and sustainability.

A truly sharing economy aims to unlock the value of unused or underused goods and services, both for monetary or non-monetary benefits. It entails a values-driven approach, based on principles such as transparency, humanity and authenticity. Ultimately, actions and practices under the sharing economy should create a sense of belonging, collective accountability and mutual benefit in the local community.

This year’s EUROCITIES awards will showcase outstanding achievements by member cities in the delivery of local activities or practices which improve quality of life for citizens through the sharing economy. Each year, member cities are invited to submit examples of projects and practices of which they are particularly proud. Entries are submitted in one of three following categories:
- cooperation: awarding cooperation efforts undertaken by a local authority together with partner organisations
- innovation: innovation in the planning and implementation of activities or practices by a local authority
- participation: activities or practices of a local authority which are successful in actively promoting citizen participation