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"UrbanUp" - Upscaling Strategies for an Urban Sharing Society

The concept of an “Urban Sharing Society” assumes that sharing economy approaches can be developed more sustainably when embedded in broader urban transition processes. At the same time, urban transitions can profit from sharing approaches as an alternative economic paradigm and contribution to societal well-being.

In this 5-year, inter- and transdisciplinary research project, upscaling strategies for an Urban Sharing Society will be explored in the German city of Wuppertal. The goal is to analyze sharing practices among different user groups, develop sustainability-oriented sharing business models, and identify suitable governance approaches for “sharing cities”. To address these objectives, a systemic perspective is adopted, integrating socio-cultural and economic dimensions through the analysis of narratives and business models and how they are interrelated in upscaling processes. The ecological and societal impacts of sharing practices in different fields of application will be assessed in order to inform policy and strategy on sustainable up-scaling strategies.

Taking a transdisciplinary approach, the research group combines different disciplinary perspectives, but also works closely with stakeholders from business, civil society initiatives and local government in a real-world lab setting in the city of Wuppertal. In a joint process, the aim is to identify relevant actors and fields of application, co-design upscaling strategies and create contextualized knowledge relevant to science as well as practice.

UrbanUp is a research project by the joint Center for Transformation Research and Sustainability (TransZent) of the Wuppertal Institute and the University of Wuppertal, and the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP). It is funded as a junior research group under the Social-Ecological Research program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).