Delningsekonomi på mellanstora städers villkor : Styrning och planering av delningsekonomi i Umeå
Sammanfattning: This thesis focuses on how local administrations in mid-sized cities can govern and plan for the sharing economy. To explore this, a case study of Umeå municipality's work on the sharing economy is carried out. Umeå municipality is one of four Swedish cities participating in the national program for the sharing economy in cities, Sharing Cities Sweden (SCS). The sharing economy can be described as an economic model that promotes a change from ownership to access and the production of resources and services in peer-to-peer networks. In response to a growing sharing economy in cities, local administrations have implemented policies and regulations against sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Uber. Cities also encourage sharing initiatives by planning for publicly run tool libraries, bike sharing schemes and local maker spaces (workshops to share tools, knowledge and ideas). Furthermore, there is an ongoing discussion about the implications of a growing sharing economy in cities. Some researchers argue that parts of the sharing economy instead of reducing resource consumption, building trust and creating more just resource access are centralizing power to a few platform monopolies and are using control and surveillance through collection of big data in order to extract profit. To counter this trend, this thesis is interested in how cities can govern and plan for a democratic and just model for the sharing economy. The discussion about the sharing economy in research and the media has mainly focused on big cities and metropolises, thus the focus on mid-sized cities in this thesis. Through interviews of key actors within Umeå's sharing economy and participation at the Cooperative Cities conference in Umeå, the thesis points to a locally based model of sharing economy in Umeå. In the absence of larger platforms within the sharing economy, Umeå can provide “shareable” resources in the city through collaboration with local actors and by organizing public-commons partnership. To sustain a locally based sharing economy, the thesis argues for the municipality to think of the sharing services in Umeå as a sharing ecosystem. It implies that the municipality contributes to a good environment for sharing services by providing a network, knowledge, support and spaces. Two sub-projects within Umeå's participation in Sharing Cities Sweden are analyzed, the library for sport equipment’s, Fritidsbanken and Service hubs which involves "nodes / hubs that concentrate and provide various services to Umeå residents". Fritidsbanken can be understood as a form of social infrastructure that can contribute to rebuild social capital in neighborhoods. Service hubs can be understood as a form of sharing infrastructure that facilitates sustainable lifestyles. Finally, it is stated that the municipality of Umeå, as a mid-size city that has not experienced the negative consequences of the sharing economy, can take a proactive role for a just and democratic sharing economy.
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