The ‘Airbnb Effect’: Is It Real, and What Is It Doing to a City Like Amsterdam?
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.
“I think it’s obvious that Airbnb contributes to gentrification,” Veracruz says. “It drives up real estate prices that are already searing in Amsterdam. Neighbourhood business that create ties between residents are replaced by businesses that only focus on tourists. Bike rental companies replace local grocery shops. And apartments that are continuously rented out to tourists are lost to people who want to actually live here.”
Such is Veracruz’s concern that he is trying to create an alternative service: Fairbnb. What he proposes is a short-stay rental platform that is beneficial to the city – with hosts who are registered with the council, and neighbours who are involved in the management of the platform.