Urban Sharing in Amsterdam is the result of a Mobile Research Lab conducted in Amsterdam in Spring 2019. The research is part of the five-year research programme Urban Sharing, funded by the European Research Council (2018-2023), Grant Agreement 771872. The project aims to investigate the sustainability impacts of the sharing economy as well as business models and institutionalisation pathways of urban sharing organisation for sustainability.

Over the course of months, seven researchers contributed to the Mobile Research Lab in Amsterdam, which involved 25 interviews, analysis of academic and grey literature, and field work in Amsterdam. The actors interviewed comprised experts from different departments of the City of Amsterdam, representatives of urban sharing organisations from different sectors (space, mobility and physical goods sharing), third-party organisations, users of sharing organisations, and researchers.

The report presents the city context of Amsterdam that shapes the sharing economy and offers a short overview of the sharing economy landscape. Then, findings and observations from the three sectors of the sharing economy – sharing of space, mobility and physical goods – are presented focusing on the drivers and barriers, associated sustainability impacts, impacts on incumbent sectors, and the institutional and regulatory context of each sector. The report then analyses governance mechanisms that the city council employs for engaging with the sharing economy. Finally, some concluding remarks are offered. Our interviewees described the sharing landscape in Amsterdam as mature, especially compared with other European cities. Generally, the landscape and the trajectory of development of larger for-profit urban sharing organisations is better mapped than the landscape of smaller community-operated and non-profit organisations. The market for space and mobility sharing is better developed than the market for sharing of physical goods. 

As the sharing economy is not sustainable by default, urban sharing organisations, city governments and incumbents all have important roles to play in ensuring that the sharing economy positively impacts cities and their citizens. In the face of negative perceptions and possible impacts of the sharing economy, we may need to be more deliberate in thinking in terms of scaling the sharing economy to the size, needs, and capacities of cities. Insights contained within this report may support the City of Amsterdam and other Sharing Cities, as well as urban sharing organisations and third-party actors in Amsterdam or beyond in their strategic worj with the sharing economy for sustainability.

Download the report here