Next Article in Journal
Urban Inequality: The City after the 2007 Crisis
Next Article in Special Issue
Spatial Agency: Creating New Opportunities for Sharing and Collaboration in Older People’s Cohousing
Previous Article in Journal
Peri-Urban Dynamics in Murcia Region (SE Spain): The Successful Case of the Altorreal Complex
Previous Article in Special Issue
Producing Opportunities Together: Sharing-Based Policy Approaches for Marginal Mobilities in Bogotá
Article Menu
Issue 3 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(3), 61;

A Framework for Assessing Democratic Qualities in Collaborative Economy Platforms: Analysis of 10 Cases in Barcelona

Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Open University of Catalonia, 08289 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 21 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sharing Cities Shaping Cities)
Full-Text   |   PDF [678 KB, uploaded 25 July 2018]   |  


The term “collaborative economy” or “collaborative economy platforms” refers to exchange, sharing, and collaboration in the consumption and production of capital and labor among distributed groups, supported by a digital platform. Collaborative economies’ use is growing rapidly and exponentially, creating high expectations of sustainability and their potential to contribute to the democratization of the economy. However, collaborative economy platforms lack a holistic framework to assess their sustainability and pro-democratization qualities. In addition, there is confusion about platforms which present themselves as collaborative when they actually are not, and similar uncertainties and ambiguities are associated with diverse models. To address this confusion, this article provides a framework for assessing the pro-democratic qualities of collaborative economy initiatives. It was applied to 10 cases in the context of the city of Barcelona. The methods used in this study include mapping and typifying 10 collaborative economy cases in the city, structured and in-depth interviews, and a co-creation session. The results indicate the presence of several modalities for favoring democratic values in a collaborative economy. View Full-Text
Keywords: collaborative economy; platform cooperativism; democratic quality collaborative economy; platform cooperativism; democratic quality

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Fuster Morell, M.; Espelt, R. A Framework for Assessing Democratic Qualities in Collaborative Economy Platforms: Analysis of 10 Cases in Barcelona. Urban Sci. 2018, 2, 61.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Urban Sci. EISSN 2413-8851 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top