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Janet Merkel

In the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis of 2007 and 2008, a new type of collaboratively oriented workplace has emerged in cities. These coworking spaces and the associated practice of coworking exemplify new ways of organizing labor in project-based and largely freelance occupations as found in the creative industries. The focus of the chapter is to introduce the rise of freelancers as independent economic agents to contextualize the emergence of coworking spaces as a collective coping strategy to deal the with uncertainties and risks associated with freelance work. The chapter combines sociological perspectives with recent research in economic geography on the social dynamics of knowledge creation, proximity and the spatialities of creative and innovative processes in order to discuss coworking spaces as new knowledge sites in creative urban economies.