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Sharing Cities and Commoning: An Alternative Narrative for Just and Sustainable Cities

Geography Department, Faculty of Mathematics and Science II, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4358; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164358
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Transformations Towards Sustainability)
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Abstract

Sharing Cities are emerging as an alternative narrative which promotes sharing as a transformative phenomenon for just and sustainable cities. This article shows that Sharing Cities are conceived within the alternative political economy of the commons. Bringing a theoretical contribution into dialogue with a practice-oriented book, this paper aims at checking the concept of Sharing Cities against the reality on the ground by reviewing 137 secondary cases: (1) Is communal (non-commercial) sharing a substantial phenomenon? (2) What is the role of technology—and more widely, of intermediation—in sharing practices? (3) If at all, what is being transformed by sharing practices? (4) Are commons depicted in each case? Results show that most cases display a communal form of sharing that is independent of digital platforms, i.e., that the sharing transformation affects all arenas of production and social reproduction across a wide variety of sectors, and it relies on translocal replication rather than up-scaling. With only 26% of cases apparently depicting a commons, this paper argues for a relational epistemology of urban commoning, shifting the focus to more-than-human commoning-communities. Thus, Sharing Cities are captured not only as a set of policy proposals and practices but as the performative depiction of an alternative worldview based on interdependence, ready for the Anthropocene. View Full-Text
Keywords: sharing cities; sustainability; commons; commoning; smart cities; digital technology; case study review; grassroots innovation; anthropocene sharing cities; sustainability; commons; commoning; smart cities; digital technology; case study review; grassroots innovation; anthropocene
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Labaeye, A. Sharing Cities and Commoning: An Alternative Narrative for Just and Sustainable Cities. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4358.

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