- Norwegian University of Life sciences, Ås, Norway
An increasing phenomenon in contemporary cities is to work in multiple places, such as home, offices, and coffee shops, while simultaneously using ICT devices and networks. However, little attention has been paid to the new socio-spatial demands facing city services. This phenomenon has been empirically studied through a comparative case study in the city centre of Helsinki, Finland, by conducting observations of one public library (Library 10) and one coffee shop (Café Köket), as well as semi-structured interviews with the multi-local workers and managers of the two places. This comparative case study shows that multi-local workers with different profiles (age, level of education, contract of employment) and varied socio-spatial working practices use the library and coffee shop for several working purposes, such as individual or collective informal offices, or as temporary workplaces of a larger city network with urban ambiance. Thus, discussion of this phenomenon has shifted to a re-conceptualizing of the third place as well as future visioning of the business model of coffee shops and service concepts of libraries. The results might be useful to managers, architects, planners and policy makers when developing the network of facilities within the cities as well as the multi- functionality of urban spaces.