Policymakers face a challenging dilemma when responding to novel technologies. Specifically, evolving iterations of the platform economy like short-term home rentals and ridesharing have quickly upended municipal policy regimes and required creative solutions from city leaders. This dissertation builds upon existing frameworks for how policymakers respond to innovations by considering the arrival and subsequent policy response to a recent iteration of the platform economy, shared electric scooters (e-scooters). Specifically, this research considers the cases of five cities in Los Angeles County (Santa Monica, Culver City, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and West Hollywood) and how each city's government responded to shared e-scooters. This research then synthesizes those findings into a set of considerations for cities when responding to future innovations, which serve as an extension of previous frameworks with a focus on the specific policy environment and constraints facing city leaders. Specifically, the case studies in this research emphasize the challenge of making policy for innovations that deploy, scale, and evolve quickly. This research not only emphasizes the importance of flexible, nimble policy mechanisms capable of responding to shifting markets, but also the critical importance of individual actors at the local level to set and implement policy. Lastly, these cases also demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of collaboration and coordination between city governments as a critical tactic for managing innovation.
Table of Contents
Method and Approach
Case Studies Overview
Themes Across Cases and Lessons for Cities and Companies