Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Crowdfunding cities: Social entrepreneurship, speculation and solidarity in Berlin

Langley, P.; Lewis, S.; McFarlane, C.; Painter, J.; Vradis, A.

Crowdfunding cities: Social entrepreneurship, speculation and solidarity in Berlin Thumbnail


S. Lewis

J. Painter

A. Vradis


Situated at the intersection of urban and economic geography, this paper develops and illustrates a three-step research agenda to further critical understanding of relations between crowdfunding and cities. First, we explore how crowdfunding is enrolled in shifting programmes of urban governance that valorize entrepreneurship in North America and Europe in particular. When invoked in urban governance, crowdfunding is increasingly the ‘go to’ method for mobilizing the cash, capital and collective enthusiasm necessary for social entrepreneurship and civic renewal in cities. Second, we offer a situated, qualitative case study account of crowdfunding in Berlin. In contrast with existing research, we show how a specific urban context contributes to shaping the distinctive crowdfunding ecologies that emerge in a city. Third, we interrogate the multiplicity and diversity of crowdfunding-city relations, identifying and analyzing three distinctive ecologies that have emerged to date in Berlin. While crowdfunding is indeed enabling social entrepreneurship in particular ways in Berlin, it also contributes to capitalizing speculation in booming real-estate developments and facilitates the solidarity economies of community groups and charities.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 22, 2020
Online Publication Date Jun 29, 2020
Publication Date 2020-10
Deposit Date Jun 23, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 29, 2022
Journal Geoforum
Print ISSN 0016-7185
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 115
Pages 11-20
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations