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isabella stratta

student scholars

Isabella Stratta

While conducting research with Dr. Katie Wells on the working lives of instant delivery workers, I developed an interest in understanding how gig work shape urban areas in various ways. While gig work isn’t necessarily tied to the urban context, the largest volume of platform-based work and demand is carried out in urban areas. The growing use of digital gig platforms—which some researchers are referring to as the “uberization of the economy” where high-income, urban consumers demand goods and services to be delivered almost instantly—creates real challenges and opportunities for workers, the environment, and the city.


One of the projects I worked on as part of this research was investigating the lobbying power of gig companies at a municipal level, specifically the D.C. council. I found that six instant food delivery companies alone spent at least $1.8 million lobbying the D.C. Council from 2019 to 2022. This stood in large contrast to workers, who partly due to the isolating nature of instant delivery work, did not lobby for better workplace protections at the D.C. council. While gig companies have also expanded their political presence at the national level, it seems that most of their lobbying efforts are aimed towards shaping municipalities' attitudes towards these platforms.


As part of the Global Cities Scholars program, I hope to continue researching how gig platforms shapes labor, power, and the geography of cities. I’m excited to collaborate and learn from a community of students, professors, and researchers in the field of urban studies that only gains from embracing interdisciplinary collaboration. I would be thrilled to present my research at the Global Cities Initiative Student Research Summit and learn about different topics in urban studies that the rest of the cohort is investigating.

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