The sharing economy appears repeatedly in academic literature as a solution to tackle some of the sustainability challenges society is facing. However, few studies quantify impacts of the sharing economy on cities due to the lack of a methodological approaches that allow a systematic and standardized measurement. Therefore, there is need to develop a method to understand how the sharing economy is influencing the sustainability of cities and their development. We discuss our approach in this blogpost.
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Steven Curtis, member of the Urban Sharing Team, is co-host of the podcast ‘Advancing Sustainable Solutions’. In the monthly podcast, Steven and co-host Sofie Sandin discuss sustainability research conducted at the IIIEE. In this month’s episode, Steven and Sofie share insights into the sharing economy, including business models as well as the sustainability implications of the sharing economy. Check out their episode!
Literature acknowledges the semantic confusion surrounding the sharing economy. Recognising disconnect between the practices being included as part of the sharing economy and its purported sustainability potential, this research sought to synthesise a definition of the sharing economy that prioritised sustainability. Our research began with a systematic literature review. We used NVivo, a software to support analysis of qualitative data, to identify and synthesis the definitions of ‘sharing economy’ included in each article. In this post, we provide our definition, discuss its implications on how the sharing economy has been conceptualised this far, and provide access to our latest publication.