Trend Alert (3): Collaborative economy

Ir_regeneration urb1

A brief by Elise Baudelet, junior expert in territorial marketing at CAAC

“The “Collaborative Economy” describes an economic system where consumers prefer to share, rather than purchase, goods and services. It seeks to empower consumers and free them from the burdens of ownership.” Collen IP

Exchange, lease between individuals or resell are increasing in recent years. Opportunities offered by Internet facilitate and boost this new consumption habits. This revolution seems to transform deeply societies. According to Forbes, the collaborative economy is worth more than $3.5 billion in various sectors: food, accommodation, music, banking, property and services… Beyond a type of consumption, it would seem that society is in a transition to economy of use and so urban environment could be redesigned while city planning should integrate collaborative consumption as a new factor.

Collaborative tourism is the consequence of travellers looking for authentic and original, experiences they share with the local populations. It is influencing cities’ strategy to attract visitors: the offers needs to get adapted. Stay, dinner, travel or visit: all could be done within a collaborative platform. The traditional industry is dealing with this switch and tourism economy is evolving. Moreover, this trend widens the potential targets for a city, other segments such as young, smaller budget travellers, short stay visitors, could be included in city communication.

In addition the new way of consuming tends to reduce the ownership model. Consumption per subscription stands out as a new alternative to possession, as it better meets the expectations of consumers who aspire to use free, flexible and unconstrained goods. Cities should integrate in the public space places for exchange and non-possession consumption.

A new working model has been developed: workers tend to not have one office for them but to share one space with employees from other companies. Co-working spaces come up in towns affected the traditional infrastructure and building industry.

Lastly, economy of proximity is also an outcome of the collaborative economy valorising local production. Cities have a crucial role to play in order to enhance the local economy of a territory. For instance ANATOLE project worked on these issues, willing to improve the territory by rethinking the economic models.

Do you think the collaborative economy will impact significantly the urban landscape of tomorrow?

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