Why a liveable city needs an umbrella sharing service

January 7, 2019


is the new black in municipalities around the world. Traffic congestion, pollution and health issues are some of the big things that city designers and governments are facing and trying their best to solve as we speak.

In a Healthy City report from the Mayor’s office in London it states that if Londoners on average walked or cycled 20 min more daily it would decrease the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes with up to 50%, decrease breast cancer with up to 20% and decrease depression by up to 30%, besides a lot of other factors the report goes more in detail with*. Further it would save the government 1.7 billion GBP in NHS costs over the next 25 years. Basically meaning that getting citizens to move, engage and spend less time in a car or a taxi makes a lot of sense in terms of citizens life satisfaction and general economic logic.

15 years of bike sharing

Santander Cycles in London

To help people to be more active‚ cities look for smart city interventions. About 15 years ago a bike sharing wave spread across the major cities who launched one bike scheme after another. While schemes like this is a service to the public and tourists, the greater purpose is to for people to actively contribute to creating a healthy city which then obviously benefits the government right back. Convincing people to bike has become somewhat of a marketing challenge solved to different degree of satisfaction across the world, making almost all bike sharing schemes struggle financially. Setting aside the economics for a minute, some bike sharing schemes are experiencing huge success with Transport for London’s Santander cycles contributing more than 10 millions journeys yearly and Oslo’s city bikes having almost 3 million journeys in 2018. Schemes like these generate life quality and an active community contributing to the bottomline in a broader perspective.

In more recent years phone booths are being replaced with wifi spots such as “LINK” operating in New York, generating free wifi, which ultimately generates interesting behavioural data which municipalities or companies can benefit from in urban planning or for marketing purpose.

China, China, China - but let's go Europe

How can umbrella sharing schemes contribute like the bike sharing schemes or LINK? The biggest difference as we speak is that most umbrella sharing startups is private businesses who has to have a business model which financially make sense. These companies can not calculate the profit in walking journeys or saved money in healthcare. At the moment, only the Chinese government is investing actively in umbrella sharing initiatives. The Chinese are experiencing a huge boom in the sharing economy and as we speak there are more serious umbrella sharing startups in China alone, than the rest of the world. Municipalities in Europe is starting to eye an opportunity as a working umbrella sharing setup could contribute greatly to the Liveable city goals set forth by most governments. Further the data generated from the umbrella scheme can offer interesting insights in behavioural patterns on rainy days specifically.

Dripdrop's part in the liveable city

In Dripdrop our aim is to find a balance between user experience and business model. We are aiming to be a service equal to the Oslo Bikes or the Santander bikes which are loved and generally cherished by the citizens. Therefore we are aware that a tight collaboration with municipalities and the businesses in areas are a must to succeed in our vision to design the best cities in the world on rainy days and that putting the user at the center of the experience is key. Successful implementation in a large city will almost always demand customisation to a certain degree. Done correctly, we will not only contribute to a more liveable city through walking journeys, but the data we generate can assist in other urban decisions. Through a great service comes a healthy business.

While municipalities in Europe gets hotter to the idea of umbrella sharing services, in Dripdrop we continue to develop our product and service, to stay ahead of the growing competition and remain focused on the core of the issue; Contributing to making cities more liveable.

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