This project is situated at the intersection of urban studies, information technology and sustainability studies. Recent studies have shown that technological change is not enough to meet the international targets of emission reductions and resource use – behavioral changes are also needed in terms of less energy intensive consumption (Worldwatch institute 2010). There is a vivid public debate and research on consumerist culture, its socioecological impacts and on how more sustainable consumption patterns can be promoted (Mont & Plepys 2005, Naish 2009). In contrast to this, within other fields such as urban development, practices are orientated towards increasing consumption levels (Cha et al, 2001) by expanding commercial spaces etc. It is however possible to discern a growing fatigue among urbanites of the commercialization and privatization of public spaces (Zukin 2010, Hou, 2010).
Against this backdrop and coupled with the recent economic crisis, different forms of citizen-initiated sharing schemes and Do-It-Yourself cultures have emerged (Carlsson 2008, Botsman & Rogers 2011). Rather than just mass-consuming goods, citizens create common-pool resources and systems of sharing tools, vehicles, gardens, work spaces, clothing, books etc. These schemes can be organized in a variety of ways, sometimes appropriating and changing the use of private/public space. Reasons for engaging in such schemes may vary and can be ideologically, ecologically, socially and/or economically motivated.