Stadt- und Regionalökonomie
Platform economy through assemblages. The development of short-term rental markets in Athens, Greece and Berlin, Germany (DweLinks)
Timeframe: October 2020 - October 2022


Principal InvestigatorDr. Dimitris Pettas
Project SupervisorProf. Dr. Lech Suwala


DweLinks’ overarching goal is to explore the qualitative, geographical, and space-transformative characteristics of platform economy, and its development within complex, multi-leveled assemblages, in Athens, Greece and Berlin, Germany.

More specifically, the project investigates the ways the emergence and establishment of digitally mediated, short-term renting (STR) markets, take place through i) the mobilisation and ii) the creation of ties and flows, among a variety of actors and networks. DweLinks’ major research hypothesis is that the development and establishment of STR activities is taking place through assemblages that employ, bring together, and mobilize human, material, and symbolic elements: urban and natural resources and assets (building stock, transport infrastructure, public spaces, sites of cultural and archeological interest, natural and cultural landscapes), labour, knowledge, services, historical meanings, and the notions of ‘sharing’ and ‘collaboration’.

Through a qualitative methodology, heavily based upon assemblage thinking approaches, specifically Assemblage and Actor-Network Theories and the in-depth engagement with two study areas in each city, DweLinks will

  1. analyse and delineate the STR markets’ landscape in Athens and Berlin, through the exploration of their networks and actors, extent and limits, hybrid development, practices, role in socio-spatial transformations and differentiations,
  2. enrich and inform ‘platform economy’ literature in the fields of urban studies, and social and economic geography,
  3. inform policy agendas and regulatory frameworks and formulate policy directions, through the in-depth understanding of the development of the STR activity and its articulation in local sites and networks.