The COST Action CA18214 'The geography of New Working Spaces and the impact on the periphery' involves 160 research partners from 35 European Countries - from October 1, 2019 to March 31st, 2024.
The aim of the project is threefold. First, it aims to share the first outcomes of some funded international research projects on new working spaces i) collaborative and creative working spaces (coworking spacesand smart work centres); (ii) makerspaces and other technical spaces (fablabs, open workshops); (iii) other new working spaces (hackerspaces, Living Lab and corporate labs); (iv) informal new working spaces (coffee shops and libraries), which: (i) identify new working spaces typologies (tassonomy); (ii) reveal their spatial distribution, and explain the location patterns.
Secondly, through the comparison and dissemination of the first results of these international research activities, the Action aims at identifying, measuring and evaluating the (direct and indirect) effects of these new working spaces (Atlas) in order to understand whether and how they have promoted – with or without the help of public subsidies and planning measures –: (a) regional competiveness, economic performance and resilience; (b) entrepreneurial milieu; (c) knowledge creation within regional innovation system, retaining knowledge workers and the creative class; (d) social inclusion and spatial regeneration of peripheral areas. Within the perspective of territorial chesion, the focus is on peripheral areas and the main research questions are the following:
- Do new working spaces represent a critical urban practice that has developed to cope with the prevalent informality, uncertainty and risks of independent work?
- May new working spaces enhance the workers’ economic performance and wellbeing?
- May new working spaces favour social capital building and encourage return migration of
knowledge workers to the periphery?
- May they provide inclusive spaces to women (i.e. mothers, and minority women) close to
home thus, favouring gender equality?
- Can they maintain the livability and economic viability of peripheries, and foster growth
opportunities, thus enhancing a multiplier effect generating new knowledge communities?
The third aim is to collect, discuss and develop guidelines for tailored policy and planning measures (Tool Box) to foster the positive effects of new working spaces through the promotion of agreements and cooperation with local, regional and/or national public administrations/stakeholders, as well as try to reduce their negative effects on the neighbourhoods (i.e. gentrification). On the basis of these results, the Action aspires to be followed by a wider research project, which will be prepared for competitive international calls, and will develop empirical analyses about the implementation of the proposed measures in local, regional or national specific context.