Large urban areas are nowadays covered by millions of wireless devices, including not only cellular equipment carried by their inhabitants, but also several ubiquitous and pervasive platforms used to monitor and/or actuate on a variety of phenomena in the city area. Whereas the former are increasingly powerful devices equipped with advanced processors, large memory capacity, high bandwidth, and several wireless interfaces, the latter are typically resource constrained systems. Despite their differences, both kinds of systems share the same ecosystem, and therefore, it is possible to build symbiotic relationships between them.
Our research aims at creating a resource-sharing platform to support such relationships, in the perspective that resource unconstrained devices can assist constrained ones, while the latter can extend the features of the former. Resource sharing between heterogeneous networks in an urban area poses several challenges, not only from a technical point of view, but also from a social perspective. In this paper we present our symbiotic resource-sharing proposal while discussing its impact on networks and citizens.