Building the Future from the Ground Up:
Community Sharing as Sustainable Development
Developing blighted areas into vibrant and engaged communities is a long and arduous process, and yet this is generally understood as not only necessary but also potentially very profitable. It is not an exaggeration to say that this is the oldest and most well respected form of value creation.
Yet, at the close of the 20th century, a variety of different unintended side effects began to gather around the consistent forward momentum of urban development, causing ripple effects outward into the surrounding communities that caused them to be not only less vibrant and engaged, but less profitable and therefore less valuable.
Chief among these unintended side effects is urban monoculture, which represents the erosion of diversity in a marketplace or other ecosystem. Since the turn of the millennium, a number of innovative business models have emerged to counterbalance the chilling effects of market dominance on local economies. Most notably, the sharing economy has shown its merits in multiple vectors and shows no sign of slowing its evolution and penetration into the commons.
Air B-n-B and Uber being the most familiar iterations of this phenomenon, they nevertheless are far from definitive of it's scope. Across the globe, Lending libraries and Asset-based Community Enterprises have proven themselves solvent in a variety of implementations. Even during the most volatile economic conditions local sharing initiatives have fostered steady growth, and increased community engagement and entrepreneurship.
Over the past 2 decades over 60 Tool Lending Libraries have emerged in the United States alone. The average tool is used for only 48 hours during it's lifetime. Lending libraries not only curb the economic impacts and deterrents on a local level, but also decrease environmental impacts from manufacture. Enabling local homeowners to improve their properties and neighborhoods has a net impact on the value and permeability of these spaces.
Florida remains among the only states lacking in a Tool Library, and yet contains the largest population of citizens who stand to benefit. South Florida represents the heart of the population, and contains not only a vibrant community of creatives, but also a rich market of real estate in need of improvement. The addition of a lending library would enable the continued and expanded evolution of these sectors.
The Miami Tool Library aims to empower the local community with the tools to create and repair at a fair cost. Membership would be priced affordably, and workshops would be hosted to educate locals about ways and means for transforming their neighborhoods, and their lives.
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