Platform Economies & the City:
Short-term Rentals in London
For my independent project at the LSE, I am studying the short-term rental housing market in London to understand the role that policies at the local, national and regional level play in shaping it. For the past few years, while the proliferation of short-term rentals has had an undeniable effect on European Cities, the rhetoric constructed around it has been as conjectural as it has been polarizing. On the one hand, this alternative travel accommodation industry has supported not just local homeowners and businesses, it has also eased the seasonal pressures of tourism on the limited supply of hotels and hostels. On the other hand, it has impacted housing supply and affordability, and the neighbourhood amenity. Even though asymmetries around data availability keep us enumerating the exact impact that they are having on the city, it is clear that this impact spans tourism, housing, e-commerce, communities, and local economies.
Through personal interviews, I study in detail, the challenges in regulatory compliance experienced by ‘High Pressure’ Boroughs in London. This is supplemented by looking at best practices in the regulatory landscape across other European Union member nations in order to arrive at potential recommendations for the issues faced in London. The dissertation attempts to present a balanced view of the positive and negative externalities emerging from a rapidly changing market, where seemingly unrelated technological innovations can be seen to have profound impacts on the shape and experience of the city. It is attuned to the sensibility of solving complex 21st-century urban problems through inter-sectorial strategy and innovation.
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