The ‘Airbnb effect’: is it real, and what is it doing to a city like Amsterdam?
In the Dutch capital, Airbnb has been accused of driving up property prices and disrupting communities – while others say the website’s gentrifying tendencies are much exaggerated. So who’s right?
Sito Veracruz lives in the centre of Amsterdam. Some years ago, he enthusiastically rented out a room on Airbnb. “At first I thought it was a great idea,” he recalls. “But I now realise there are side-effects that we didn’t foresee. Airbnb can be a threat for cities.”
Veracruz, an urban planner, witnesses daily how the large number of apartments rented out on Airbnb and other short-stay rental websites are bringing more and more tourists to the central areas of Amsterdam. He says this has a negative effect on life in these neighbourhoods – and he’s not only talking about the nuisance that noisy, partying tourists can create for the local residents.
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