City Conversations: The Sharing City - taking control but not taking advantage


Tuesday 2 July, 6.00 – 8.00pm

The sharing economy can lead to a more equitable sharing of space, time and the rewards of work. How does it change the way we create and use the infrastructure of a city? It is argued that there is a deeper rethinking of the economics of living in cities: these ideas are not new – see for example William Morris News from Nowhere (1890) – but the theoretical ideas are more tangible on a wider scale as a result of new technologies.

The sharing economy takes advantage of technology-enabled platforms to create efficiencies and value. However there can be unexpected consequences such as the exploitative impact of the gig economy. Key to the debate is who is in control – and under what set of rules.

Does the private investment model work best in this area, or should we be encouraging more social enterprises? Should government – national, city wide and local - set the rules, or can we still aspire to the original goals of the internet where everyone can freely participate and benefit. 

We asked our panelists to come up the best examples of the sharing economy, including, if they wished, their own activities, and also instances of where these were disruptive in unforeseen ways. Where can we improve the city infrastructure to encourage more sharing?


Leo Boscherini - Make Shift, a social enterprise that designs, builds new public destinations for work and play.

Georgie Cella - Olio, a sharing app to reduce urban food waste

Kirstine Kolling Hansen - Space10, the Ikea-funded research and design lab

Scott Barnes - Spacehive, a fundraising platform for communities

Jake Heitland - Commercial Manager – Development, Lendlease Europe / Loneliness Lab

Chaired by Mohamed Gaafar - Buro Happold Engineering

The event is free to attend, but please book in advance.


“City Conversations” is a series of informative thought-leadership discussions around the big issues that are changing our cities - growth, technology, resource efficiency and climate change. The conversations will address not only the new and changing infrastructure of cities but also how these are brought about and their impact on the lifestyle and wellbeing of citizens. They are produced by The Happold Foundation and ngenuity with support from the Built Environment Trust.