Paper | Commons-enabling digital platform technologies in practice: the case of carsharing communities in The Netherlands

The second scientific article resulting from our research project has been accepted by the AMPS (Architecture Media Politics Society) Conference ”Urban Futures – Cultural Pasts” to be held in Barcelona (July 15-17, 2025). The article titled ”Commons-enabling digital platform technologies in practice: the case of carsharing communities in The Netherlands” discusses the use of technological support/platforms for commons communities in managing their shared resources. Below is the abstract submitted for the conference segment Governing the Ecosystems Commons.

In the past few years, both commons practitioners and researchers have expressed a growing interest in the potential role of technologies such as digital platforms and distributed ledger technologies in enabling communities to share and manage their joint resources like energy, mobility, gardening, housing etc. The prospect of technologies for managing and governing the commons is considered either with vast optimism or with cautionary criticism. However, so far such claims have mostly remained conceptual and visionary. This paper adds to this body of work by an empirical study of communities’ real-life experiences using digital platforms for shared mobility in The Netherlands. Based on the outcomes of this study, future directions are identified for the design of commons-oriented sharing platforms beyond the pragmatic marketplaces that prevail at this moment. In addition, we found, commons-orientated mobility communities have indicated a wish for these platforms to also strengthen the neighborhood social fabric. The paper continues with some first design explorations of how that could be achieved. The paper then ends with a first contribution to a set of emerging design principles for commons-oriented digital platforms for resource communities.

Keywords: commons/commoning; collective governance; digital platforms for resource communities; tech-enabled resource sharing; carsharing; shared mobility