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Compulsory symbiosis as a benefit of suburban third places: A case study in the Poznań agglomeration by Barbara Konecka-SzydłowskaAgnieszka Sikorska-Długa in the French scientific journal Revue d’Économie Régionale & Urbaine

Agnieszka Sikorska-Długaj, Faculty of Architecture and Design of Magdalena Abakanowicz University of the Arts Poznan, became the co-author of the article “Compulsory symbiosis as a benefit of suburban third places: A case study in the Poznań agglomeration“, which was published in the French scientific journal Revue d’Économie Régionale & Urbaine on the platform *.

“Today’s economy is undergoing significant changes: the transition from a traditional material-intensive economy based on economies of scale (industrial economy) to a modern economy based on intangible values ​​and modern technologies (knowledge-based economy). Over the past decades, technological advancement has changed the nature of work, allowing for remote work. The progressing digitization of the economy, stemming from the development of mobile technologies, has led to significant changes in the operations of enterprises and resulted in the emergence of new, flexible forms of work. Based on mobile technologies, completely new business models are being created, e.g. coworking is developing within the so-called sharing economy (Durante, Turvani, 2018).

Coworking can be defined as a new generation workplace that provides a flexible, profitable and ready-to-let work environment for freelancers, remote workers, micro-entrepreneurs and self-employed workers of various professions, facilitating cooperation, interaction and building a network of connections between the participants (Fuzi et al., 2014; Bendkowski, 2018). In practice, each coworking space gives its own definition, as there are significant differences in the services offered, the space, the number of users, the business model, the work culture, the institutional goals, the values and participation in social movements (Parrino, 2013). According to Moriset (2014), coworking space can be considered a third workplace, an alternative to working from home and a traditional office (compare also Oldenburg, 1989). In practice, coworking means renting desks in a shared space equipped with the Wi-Fi, where independent employees perform their professional duties alongside others, usually operating in the same industry (Gandini, 2015). Coworking space, treated as a third workplace, may evolve to be the heart of local communities. By nature, the third place forms strong bonds between the users. Social relations are the basic elements of a third workplace, conditioning its operations (Główczyński, 2019). It has been indicated that this place can contribute to a growth of the users’ social capital ( Purnell, 2015; Williams et al., 2009), positive experiences and a sense of social inclusion ( Lawson 2004).

In agglomerations and large cities, coworking spaces, dedicated to working together, are developing very rapidly and are no longer new. They are becoming increasingly popular in small towns and rural areas and in suburbia (Krauss, Tremblay, 2020; Konecka-Szydłowska, Czupich, 2022).

The aim of this article is to identify and present coworking as a third workplace in suburbia. To this end, an attempt has been made to provide answers to the questions about 1/ The specificity of coworking space outside big cities, 2/ Do local conditions largely affect the emergence of a third workplace (the example of the village of Dąbrówka)? 3/ How does Parkova Coworking, located in the village of Dąbrówka in the Poznań agglomeration, operate? In order to clarify the relationship between local conditions and the possibilities for coworking in suburban spaces, the following research hypothesis was put forward: Parkova Coworking as a third workplace in suburbia is based on a compulsory symbiosis. The theoretical concept used in the study refers to the biological phenomenon when at least two parties coexist and get advantage from each other. This relationship is referred to as compulsory or mutual symbiosis. This paper attempts to identify the relationship between two parties, in this case Parkova Coworking and the local environment in which the processes of suburbanisation take place.

In the article, two research methods have been used. One is studies of documents and literature, used to define the essence of coworking (desk research). The other method is a case study in which a selected organization offering coworking space was examined. To this end, an in-depth interview and questionnaires were used. The article discusses a third workplace of Parkova Coworking in Dąbrówka. A village of 4,200 residents, it is located in the rural commune of Dopiewo in the Poznań agglomeration, 20 km from the central city of Poznań.”

Full text of the article

* Founded in 2005 by four Belgian and French academic publishers, offers the most comprehensive online collection of francophone publications in social sciences and humanities. In 2023, more than 600 journals and 18 000 eBooks from major French, Belgian and Swiss publishers can be accessed by students, scholars and librarians worldwide on To make this invaluable content accessible to a non–francophone readership, launched Cairn International Edition, an English-language platform where abstracts and selected articles from key journals on are translated from French into English, enabling users to search, browse and read this content without speaking a word of French.

  • Author: o.petrenko
  • Published on: 03.01.2024, 12:57
  • Last edit: 03.01.2024, 12:59