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Collaborative Spaces as Urban Commons Practices

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Corvo, Luigi; Parisio, Enrico; Pastore, Lavinia
Conference: The City as a Commons: Reconceiving Urban Space, Common Goods and City Governance, 1st Thematic IASC Conference on Urban Commons
Location: Bologna, Italy
Conf. Date: November 6-7
Date: 2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/9972
Sector: Urban Commons
Region: Europe
Subject(s): collaboration
Abstract: "The phenomenon of collaborative spaces is spreading around the world. Co-working, fab-lab, contamination lab and other collaborative experiences are emerging in both urban and rural contexts with the aim of facing the challenges of the economic crisis and addressing the need of a new value chain. The research addresses a question regarding the value chain of collaborative spaces: Which is the collaborative spaces value chain? And how it differs from the conventional conceptualization elaborated by Porter at al. (1985)? The research question is based on the assumption that a shift of paradigm towards the emergence of the collaborative economy is happening. This new paradigm has been classified by the P2P foundation as follow: 'A major trend in the informational society. At the heart of our economies, a diversification and increasing importance of collaborative practices can be observed. By proposing alternative paths of value creation and sharing, these practices open new perspectives in terms of consumption, production and innovation models. The players of this emerging collaborative economy are diverse: their objectives, attitudes towards collaboration and sharing, their methods of work as well as their business models are heterogeneous.' Our question wonders if the classic value chain of Porter is still proper for organizations that are based on the collaborative economy paradigm. The research focuses on the territory of the city of Rome as laboratory of collaborative spaces practices. The research starts by mapping the collaborative spaces of Rome and selecting a sample to carry out a qualitative analysis. At this phase of the research, 25 collaborative spaces of the city have been mapped. The method applied has an ethnographic approach using the following research tools: participant observation; focus groups; and in depth semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, such as co-working directors, co-working community managers, co-workers and local PA of the collaborative spaces of the sample. The result expected is to find a value chain that differs from the traditional one (Porter 1985). According to the preliminary studies the value chain of the collaborative spaces assumes a diverse form and contents due to the diverse objective of production. This study is part of a broader research project that will investigate the following open issues: - Do collaborative spaces enable sustainable production under the triple bottom line approach? - What kind of cultural, social, economic and environmental impacts are generated by collaborative spaces? And which implications can we draw in terms of policy innovation for new commons centered public governance? The following research questions will be carried out through a qualitative-quantitative method based on survey addressed to our collaborative spaces extended map."

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