Heterotopic diversity of coworking spaces: Providing adaptive capacity for cities

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Heterotopias are other spaces that play a crucial role in the adaptive capacity of cities. They balance the city by hosting the abnormal, nurture alternative cultures and allow novel practices that act as seeds of change. In this paper, we study the life cycle and regenerative nature of heterotopias by analysing the expansion of 400 self-organising coworking spaces (CWSs) in Helsinki from 2010 to 2018. This brings a new understanding of how CWSs contribute to broader urban contexts. In examining the heterotopic character of CWSs, we found diversification of otherness relating to the spaces used and the variety of professionals working there. The cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of the CWS network revealed alternating dynamics between specialisation and mixing, leading to diversification and different rhythms between the micro-level and the urban scale. We introduce a new concept of networking heterotopias and argue that both diversity and scalar dimensions should be examined when analysing change in and by them.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104717
Early online date8 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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  • Publication forum level 2


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