Upscaling-Strategies for an Urban Sharing Society


Cities worldwide are facing a multitude of sustainability challenges – providing sustainable mobility, clean air, affordable housing, reduction of social inequality, just to name a few. All around the globe so called „sharing cities“ emerge, where the principle of sharing inspires new forms of sustainable urban development, alternative ways of production and consumption, sustainable lifestyles, as well as innovative ways of participatory governance in the face of those challenges. Creating a sharing city is understood as a comprehensive process of urban transformation, in which sustainable development is created together by all relevant stakeholders in a cooperative way. By sharing responsibility, local politics, citizens and business aim to co-produce their cities in more sustainable ways.

The research project UrbanUp (Upscaling strategies for an Urban Sharing Society) addresses these issues and focuses on the question whether and how sharing principles contribute to sustainable urban development. UrbanUp is a junior research group where interdisciplinary perspectives on sharing and sustainable urban development are being integrated. The interdisciplinary research team works closely together with local actors in the city of Wuppertal – embedding their research in a transdisciplinary real-world lab setting. The aim of the project is to identify and strengthen the potential of sustainable niches where sharing is practiced in terms of bottom-up urban transformation by civil society initiatives, co-productive governance settings where civil society, business and political actors work together, and to assess where these efforts produce social and environmental benefits. The ideal of an Urban Sharing Society is what guides the transdisciplinary research process: a prospective urban society centered around the preservation of livelihoods within planetary boundaries, guaranteeing political participation, wellbeing and social inclusion for all, following a transformation pathway unique to each city.


Work Packages

The project is divided in the six different packages (1) Lifestyles, (2) Business, (3) Policies, (4) Environmental Assessment, (5) Business Models, and (6) Narratives.

Research Partners

UrbanUp is a research project by the joint Center for Transformation Research and Sustainability (TransZent) of the Wuppertal Institute and the University of Wuppertal, and the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP). It is funded as a junior research group under the Social-Ecological Research program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Project Partners

funded by

UrbanUp is funded as a junior research group under the Social-Ecological Research program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).