Coworking in Lisbon: experiences of collaboration and sharing on changing urban contexts

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Submission Summary
The concept of coworking emerged in the early 2000s. Rapidly, these collaborative spaces proliferated all over the world, often installing themselves in renovated and reconverted places, offering shared offices and hosting a variety of activities for different types of users, such as events, training, networking sessions, among others. Its members, mainly freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups, small companies, seek values of collaboration, openness, knowledge sharing, promoting partnerships and social interaction (1, 2). Innovative and creative ecosystems, such as Coworking Spaces (CWS), have attracted the attention of the media, politicians and academics, due to their ability to adjust under pressure, providing new solutions for changes in production and work regimes and stimulating urban regeneration processes (see, for example, the work of 3–5). However, a systematic and interdisciplinary approach to the study of this phenomenon is not yet in place. A holistic vision can promote a more comprehensive and integrated action to solve urban problems and long-lasting improvement (3). The paper seeks to explore: a) A first empirical approach to identifying CWS, by mapping them in Lisbon as a testbed to the overall municipalities of the Lisbon metropolitan area, and b) Preliminary reactions/solutions/impacts of CWS in the face of the current moment. These changes have sparked a debate on how to best respond to current and future crises, before the incomparable effects on cities, work patterns and life routines. The paper is part of a broader project that encompasses the mapping, decoding and classification of CWS in the Lisbon metropolitan area (LMA). The analysis of the Lisbon case study may contribute to a deeper understanding of the phenomenon, benefiting of the participation of its members in the international COST Action (CA)18214 “The geography of the new workspaces and the impact on the periphery” ( with the following objectives: i) to investigate and characterize new workspaces (definitions, typologies and geographical distributions); ii) to identify best practices and direct and indirect impacts; iii) to develop guidelines for tailor-made policies and planning measures. 1. Fuzi A. (2015) Coworking spaces for promoting entrepreneurship in sparse regions: the case of South Wales. Regional Studies, Regional Science; 2(1):462–9. 2. Merkel J. (2015) Coworking in the city. Ephemera; 15(2):121–39. Disponível em: 3. Durante G., Turvani M. (2018) Coworking, the Sharing Economy, and the City: Which Role for the ‘Coworking Entrepreneur’? Urban Science; 2(3):83. 4. Capdevila I. (2019) Joining a collaborative space: is it really a better place to work? Journal of Business Strategy, 40(2):14–21. 5. Akhavan M., Mariotti (2018) The effects of coworking spaces on local communities in the Italian context. Territorio; 87(8):85–92.
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2: Ensuring the Economic Diversity and Resilience
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Professora Aux. Agreg.
Lisbon School of Architecture, University of Lisbon
DINAMIA’CET, ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
CIAUD, Lisbon School of Architecture, University of Lisbon
Prof. Assoc.
ISEG-Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa and REM/UECE
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