'A beautiful concept': Canberra's shared resources mapped out
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'A beautiful concept': Canberra's shared resources mapped out

A growing network of shared resources is being hailed as a way for Canberrans to tackle big picture issues like inequality, environmental degradation and racism.

A new interactive map, created by the ACT Greens with the help of students from the Australian National University's Fenner School of Environment and Society, shows the locations of the city's shared resources, from little street libraries to large community gardens.

Australian National University students Stacey Korda, Correa Driscoll, Philippa Russell, Victoria Herbert and Ellen Hansen, who have helped the ACT Greens create an interactive map showing the locations of Canberra's shared resources.

Australian National University students Stacey Korda, Correa Driscoll, Philippa Russell, Victoria Herbert and Ellen Hansen, who have helped the ACT Greens create an interactive map showing the locations of Canberra's shared resources.Credit:Dion Georgopoulos

It also maps out Buy Nothing Project groups, markets, health and housing co-ops, men's sheds and other sharing networks.

Green Institute director Tim Hollo said the shared economy was about building connected communities and finding things in common with the people around us.

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"I see the sharing community, in a very real way, as part of the big picture approach to tackling environmental degradation, social isolation, inequality, even rising racism," Mr Hollo said.

"Once you start sharing things with the people around you, you can't help but see them as just like you."

A report published in conjunction with the ACT's 2015 State of the Environment Report found Canberrans had a greater impact on the environment than most on Earth.

The report found that in 2011-12, the ACT had an ecological footprint - an estimate of the amount of land and water needed to support each person- of 8.9 global hectares per person. That was the highest in Australia and more than three times the global average.

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said, "By sharing, any one resource is used by a greater number of people, increasing the efficiency of resources.

"Simple as that."

Australian National University student Victoria Herbert, who helped create the interactive map, said money had grown increasingly important in society, making it difficult for people who weren't wealthy to make a mark.

She said pooling resources fostered inclusiveness and re-defined the way people interacted with each other.

"Everything has become pretty monetised, so if you don't have money, you're kind of excluded from a lot of things," Ms Herbert said.

"[The shared economy] is not about money or financial wealth, it's about how we can work together.

"It's a beautiful concept."

The interactive map can be found at www.shanerattenbury.com/sharing_city

Blake Foden is a reporter at the Sunday Canberra Times. He has worked as a journalist in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.