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Sharing, Presence and the Built Environment

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Comparative ethnographic research suggests that the creation of co-presence is one of the main strategies for enabling sharing and for demanding a share. Conversely, avoiding or disabling co-presence is a key strategy for dealing with sharing demands. This contribution investigates how shaping the built environment is related to key features of sharing as a social practice. It is argued that sharing is characterized by a particular mutuality, temporality and sequentiality that distinguishes it from redistribution and reciprocal exchange and which, correspondingly, has specific implications for changes in the built environment. The emphasis will be on well-documented cases from the ethnography of hunter-gatherers but reference is also made to phenomena relating to land-use in large-scale societies, including digital platforms of the so-called sharing economy. The article compares the spatial dimension of sharing with that of storage and mobility, two other major strategies that humans have developed for dealing with the transience of resources.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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