Urban spaces and platform labour and before and during COVID-19
A panel call as part of the Urban Assemblage conference, London/Hertfordshre, June 2021
This panel focuses on platform labour in urban space. The impact of platforms on cities has focused on platforms, such as Airbnb, and their devastating effects on gentrification, over-tourism, rising rental prices and evictions of local residents. This process has reached enormous proportions in some cities where citizen based social movements have organised against platforms.
While research on these issues exists, less attention has been paid on the impact that platform labour has on transformation social relations at the local level. In addition to more visible processes of gentrification and tourism, there are much more subtle impacts that platforms have on urban space that arise from the ways in which the bodies of workers move and interact under the control of powerful algorithms.
Lookinng at labour together with spatial relations provides interesting insights into how urban space is transformed in multifaceted and dynamic ways: the multiplication of waiting spots of delivery drivers, dark kitchens, Uber taxi signs, and entire blocs of flats transformed into Airbnb apartments are manifestations of exploitative labour relations that develop in the platform economy and spread all over the city.
Participants in this panel may explore how platforms impact on gentrification and over-tourism, but also how they exploitative labour relations in platforms transform public interactions, bodily exchanges, traffic and the rhythms of cities.
URBAN ASSEMBLAGE : THE CITY AS ARCHITECTURE, MEDIA, AI AND BIG DATA
Place: Virtual / London / Hatfield, UK.
Dates: 28-30 June 2021
Organisers: University of Hertfordshire
Abstracts: 01 April, 2021