SHARING – Stocktaking and assessment of typologies of Urban Circular Collaborative Economy initiatives

Theme: Circular Economy, sharing economy, collaborative economy, Urban partnership


The circular economy is a new economic model where raw material is not limitlessly extracted for the sake of economic growth. It is an economic model where products are carefully designed so that at the end of their lifecycles they can be reused, recycled and refurbished to get a second or many more lives. In this way, the circular economy aims at eradicating the concept of waste.

Part of the circular economy is the concept of the collaborative economy. The collaborative economy, sometimes also called the sharing economy, is often seen as a way in which people and businesses organize themselves and create new, for profit, business models to share existing products/assets instead of purchasing new ones (e.g. Uber, Airbnb). But the collaborative economy also deals with the ways in which people and businesses organize themselves to create social and environmental benefits (e.g. community supported agriculture, repair cafés). The collaborative economy is furthermore also increasingly associated with governance aspects, such as participative urban governance.

This project is looking at Urban Circular Collaborative Economy which is a global phenomenon with strong local characteristics. Commercial digital platforms (e.g. Uber and AIRBNB), as well as activist grass-roots initiatives (e.g. Transition Towns), are susceptible to local cultural dimensions. By gaining a thorough understanding of these initiatives, their cultural context, and relevant multilevel policies, evidence-based policy options can be identified, and place-based strategies can be developed to provide appropriate support to these dynamics.

This Targeted Analysis activity will contribute to better understand how Urban Circular Collaborative Economy initiatives are being implemented in different EU cities and how they are influenced by regulations at different levels of government, from the local to the national and the EU.

The main objective is to identify and categorize different types of implementation, approaches, and strategies to enable other cities to learn from those who are taking the lead as well as develop a ‘common language’ across Europe. The project will also provide recommendations on how the Collaborative economy can be better understood, communicated, shared, and implemented across Europe.

Stakeholders’ knowledge needs

  • What are the policy needs or priorities for the collaborative or sharing economy as defined by the stakeholders?
  • What are the different typologies (for similar kinds of initiatives) of Urban Circular Collaborative Economy initiatives (individual projects and businesses) in the stakeholders’ territories? What is the best way to categorize the vast spectrum of collaborative economy initiatives dealing with circular economy on an urban level?
  • What are the different categories of data sources and what related data sets can be collected and used to describe, measure and compare these initiatives in the stakeholders’ territories and across European cities (including unconventional and big data sources)?
  • What are the main conditions and potential blocking factors for collecting, processing and analysing those data sets?
  • What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOTs) of these different kinds of initiatives regarding their impacts in territories? In particular, how do the cultural, demographic and economic dimensions of these territories relate to the SWOTs of these typologies?
  • How do local, national and EU policies relate to the SWOT’s of these typologies? To which extent are multi-level policy strategies and instruments playing or could they play a role in mitigating negative impacts and increasing positive impacts on an urban level?
  • What are the main urban policy recommendations and guidelines based on the analysis, both in the study areas covered by the activity but also generally throughout the EU?

Main outcomes

  • Territorial evidence on the impact and potential (environmental, economic, social, governance improvement, etc.) of Urban Circular Collaborative Economy initiatives.
  • Evidence (example cases and instruments) on the correlation between multi-level policies (entrepreneurial, educational and training, urban planning, etc.) and the success or failure of Urban Circular Collaborative Economy initiatives.
  • Evidence on the correlation between cultural dimensions (power distance, masculinity-feminity, individualistic-collectivistic, etc.) and the success or failure of Urban Circular Collaborative Economy initiatives.
  • In order to describe the evidence, detailed case studies in the stakeholders’ territories (including identification and analysis of local data sources, a set of maps, practical examples and policy recommendations to answer stakeholders’ needs…).
  • A practical guide describing evidence-based policy recommendations to provide appropriate support to these UCCE initiatives in other European contexts.


  • The city of The Hague, NL (lead stakeholder).
  • The city of Prato, IT.
  • The city of Maribor, SI.
  • The Public Waste Agency of Flanders on behalf of the Flemish Region, BE.
  • The Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy: Social and Solidarity Economy, GR.
  • The city of Porto, PO.
  • The Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable resource management (ACR+), BE.

The City of Oslo, coordinator of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy is taking part in the steering committee of this project as an observer.


  • VVA Brussels sprl, BE (lead contractor)
  • ÖIR GmbH, OE


€ 231 800,00


January 2019 – April 2020


  • Inception delivery, 8 February 2019
  • Interim delivery, 8 May 2019
  • Draft Final delivery, 19 December 2019
  • Final delivery, 1 April 2020



SHARING - Final Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.09MB

SHARING - Annex 1 - Practical guide.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 562KB

SHARING_Annex2 _CS_Flanders.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.73MB

SHARING_Annex 2_CS_Maribor.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.96MB


  • Acrobat Document | 1.50MB


  • Acrobat Document | 1.85MB


  • Acrobat Document | 2.02MB


  • Acrobat Document | 417KB


  • Acrobat Document | 1.59MB