Communal sharing as urban agency: sociality, interdependency and co-figuration

Authors: Inka Santala*, University of Wollongong
Topics: Urban Geography, Qualitative Research, Australia and New Zealand
Keywords: Communal sharing, urban agency, sociality, interdependency, co-figuration
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 35
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Neoliberal framings of current urban politics unavoidably shape citizen-led practices of sharing. This does not mean that these virtual and place-based initiatives should be understood solely based on prevailing expectations of profitability, efficacy or access, as such depictions easily overshadow alternative forms of urban agency that challenge contemporary capitalocentric organisational structures and social norms. Drawing from the thinking of social innovation and postcapitalist politics, this paper seeks to uncover the generative nature of “Sharing Cities” and their contribution to community inclusion and development. Focusing particularly on three case study initiatives based in Sydney, Australia, the paper explores the embedded urban agency beyond contemporary instrumentalist and structuralist discourses. Shedding light on the various forms of sociality, interdependency and co-figuration that create communal sharing in a city, my aim is to question the contemporary narrow depictions of urban being, doing and thinking. In this way, seeking to widen the space of possibility for new and potentially transformative urban discourses: ones that provide space for creative practices and social inclusion as meaningful ways of being-in-common, doing together and imagining collectively in the city.

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