Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research (BIM)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | BIM | Archive | Archive Projects | Projects 2022 | Platform Labour in Urban Spaces (PLUS)

Platform Labour in Urban Spaces (PLUS)

Duration: 04/2019 - 04/2022; Department: Integration, Social Networks and Cultural Lifestyles


Digital platforms are transforming key areas of work, everyday life, and economy in contemporary cities. The project "Platform Labor in Urban Spaces: Fairness, Welfare, Development" (PLUS) investigates the multiple effects of the rise of digital labor platforms in European migration societies in seven European cities.


The PLUS research focuses on four digital platforms, which are also representative for core urban economies. Uber is currently fundamentally transforming cab and mobility services; Deliveroo is engaged in a spectacular competition with other platforms in the field of food delivery; Helpling is an intermediary for domestic cleaners in ten countries; and Airbnb is the most widely used short-term rental platform. PLUS investigates these platforms and their impact on work and everyday life in an interdisciplinary and comparative way in Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Lisbon, London, Paris, and Tallinn. We are interested in new practices and forms of flexible and digitized work, in questions about the economic, political and social impact of digital platforms, in the context of labor markets, migration practices, gender relations and gentrification processes. 

In close collaboration with key stakeholders of the platform economy from politics, research and trade unions, we formulate new models of social and legal protection and political organization of platform workers. We review political regulations and consider alternative platform models, such as approaches of platform cooperativism, both at the city and European level.

Coordinated by the University of Bologna, the project involves numerous academic as well as various practitioner partners - including the Basic Income Network Italy, the European trade union ETUI, and alternative platforms and cooperatives such as Fairbnb and Katuma. PLUS is funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 program. The project team at Humboldt University is responsible for the research area on the impact of digital technologies on work and social protection in the platform economy. Its members are Manuela Bojadzijev, Moritz Altenried, Stefania Animento and Valentin Niebler.