Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Platform Urbanism: Technocapitalist Production of Private and Public Spaces

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Abstract:  Digital technologies and services are increasingly used to meet a wide range of urban challenges. These developments bear the risk that the urban digital transformation will exacerbate already existing socio-spatial inequalities. Graham’s assumption from nearly 20 years ago (2002)—that European cities are characterised by various forms of socio-spatial segregation, which will not be overcome by digital infrastructures—thus needs to be seriously acknowledged. This contribution critically scrutinizes the dominant narratives and materializations of standardised smart urbanism in Europe. We investigate how the prospects of improved efficiency, availability, accessibility and quality of life through digital technologies and networks take the demands and effects of the gendered division of labour into account. By zooming in on platform urbanism and examples related to mobility and care infrastructures, we discuss whether and to what extent digital technologies and services address the everyday needs of all people and in the same way or whether there are exclusionary lines. Our objective is to bring digital and feminist geographies into dialogue, to stress the mutual construction of society and space by platform economies and to ask how gendered geographies in cities are produced through and by digitalisation.

Keywords:  care; digital divide; digital technologies; gender; mobility; platform urbanism; public–private; smart city; socio-spatial



© Sybille Bauriedl, Anke Strüver. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.