Does Sharing with Neighbours Work? Accounts of Success and Failure from Two German Housing Experimentations

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


This paper analyses the normalization of everyday sharing practices in two exemplary German neighbourhoods, which both provide numerous opportunities for sharing spaces, stuff, food and mobility carriers, but differ regarding their “philosophy”. The first case belongs to the increasingly popular “collaborative housing” model, the second one is a developer-driven, service-based project. Inspired by core ideas from Social Practice Theory, the guiding questions of this research are then 1) to which extent have sharing practices become a normal part of residents’ lives in these neighbourhoods and 2) what may explain observed differences? Evidence shows that residents in the collaborative housing case share more frequently, more regularly and over longer timespans than their counterparts in the developer-driven neighbourhood. I argue that this is due to a higher share of fitting practice configurations and a better integration of sharing practices into tenants’ typical patterns of everyday life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHousing, Theory and Society
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)524-554
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 20.10.2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 IBF, The Institute for Housing and Urban Research.

    Research areas

  • co-living, collaborative housing, Germany, neighbourhood, Sharing, social practice theory
  • Sustainability Governance