Public shared resources

Circular economy is closely related to sharing economy which refers to the sharing of goods or other resources by multiple people. Availability of shared resources allow people to avoid consumption and use the existing and idle resources more efficiently. The transition to the sharing economy is also a cultural transition from owning into sharing, loaning and renting.

The sharing economy indicators monitor the availability of public shared resources in different municipalities. More specifically, the indicators focus on three types of public resources and goods: joint use community facilities, library items and city bicycles. These resources are connected to people’s everyday lives and practices such as mobility or opportunities to practice certain hobbies or organize social gatherings. The availability of the shared resources is monitored for two municipalities in each of the Circwaste key project regions.

Data for the joint use community facilities was collected through the municipalities’ websites and online booking systems. To be able to collect comparable data from different municipalities, the indicator was chosen to focus only on the use and availability of school spaces. The number of library items was recorded from the online systems that all the public libraries have. Data on the number of city bicycles, in turn, was collected from the municipalities or from the operator managing the bicycle-sharing scheme.

Joint-use school spaces

The amount of joint-use school spaces varies between the case municipalities. Out of the compared municipalities Lappeenranta and Muurame rank the highest and Joensuu the lowest in the number of school spaces per citizen. The differences between the municipalities are partly due to differences in how the booking of the spaces was organized. Although most municipalities have some type of a booking system for public facilities, this does not mean that all the available school spaces are listed there.

Library items

Public libraries can basically be regarded as sharing economy pioneers. Besides books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, libraries have expanded their selection and nowadays they often loan out also other types of items, such tools and devices, equipment for hobbies or musical instruments.

All the case public libraries offered library items other than books. The absolute number of items is larger in the bigger cities (Jyväskylä, Pori, Joensuu and Turku), where there are also more public library services available. However, the municipalities with the lowest number of citizens (Nurmes and Muurame) have the proportionally highest number of items per citizens.

The items most commonly loaned out are equipment for hobbies, including board and yard games, sports equipment and musical instruments.

Household appliances are also available in some of the libraries. Some libraries loan out bicycles and kick scooters.

Bicycle sharing

Out of the ten case municipalities, only Joensuu, Lappeenranta, Imatra, Turku and Pori have a city bicycle-sharing scheme (update, summer 2020). In absolute numbers Turku, which is the biggest city in the comparison, has also the biggest number of bikes (300 bikes). Proportionally, however, Imatra which is the smallest of the cities, has the highest number of bikes per 1 000 citizens.

More information

  • Senior Research Scientist Kati Pitkänen, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE,
  • Researcher Tiina Karppinen, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE,
Published 2020-11-30 at 10:38, updated 2020-12-09 at 12:54
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