Platform Labour in Urban Spaces (PLUS)

Digital platforms are in the process of profoundly altering central areas of urban life in Europe. The project PLUS – Platform Labour in Urban Spaces: Fairness, Welfare, Development investigates the multiple effects of such platforms on work, social reproduction and everyday life in European migration societies.

Focus of this research are four central platforms, which in turn represent key areas of urban economies: The platform Uber, which has revolutionised Taxi and mobility services, the food delivery service Deliveroo, battling over the dominance of the food delivery industry, the platform Helpling, which digitally provides cleaning services in 10 different countries, as well as the famous flat-sharing platform Airbnb. The project PLUS investigates these platforms and their effects in an interdisciplinary way, comparing them across seven European cities (Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Lisbon, London, Paris, Tallinn). Of particular importance are new forms of flexible and digitalised labour, questions surrounding the economic, political, and social effects of digital platforms, also in the context of labour markets, gentrification processes or lifestyles. Another focus are new models of social and legal protection and the political organisation of flexible workers, in addition to questions surrounding political regulation and alternative platform models (for example, the approach of platform cooperativism).

The project is coordinated by the University of Bologna and includes numerous academic institutions, in addition to various practice partners such as Fairbnb, a platform that considers itself a fair and neighbourly alternative to Airbnb. The project team at the Leuphana University Lüneburg, whose members are Manuela Bojadzijev, Moritz Altenried and Stefania Animento supported by Roxana Weger and Jude Macannuco, is responsible for the research on the effect of digital technologies on work and social protection in the platform economy and carries out empirical research in Berlin.

  • Prof. Dr. Manuela Bojadzijev