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Explaining the diversity of policy responses to platform-mediated short-term rentals in European cities: a comparison of Barcelona, Paris and Milan

Aguilera, T; Artioli, F; Colomb, C; (2019) Explaining the diversity of policy responses to platform-mediated short-term rentals in European cities: a comparison of Barcelona, Paris and Milan. Environment and Planning A 10.1177/0308518X19862286. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Short-term rentals facilitated by online platforms (like Airbnb) have recently become an object of intense debate, leading many city governments to pass new regulations attempting to control both their proliferation and platform activities. While these policy responses vary greatly from city to city, there is little comparative research to explain this diversity. This paper employs a sociological approach to public policy analysis to compare the politicization process, collective action around, and regulation of platform-mediated short-term rentals (PM-STR) in three cities - Barcelona, Paris and Milan. They were chosen to represent most-dissimilar cases in terms of regulatory outputs, both in terms of stringency (weak in Milan, intermediate in Paris, strong in Barcelona) and choice of policy sectors (sharing economy and tourism in Milan, housing and land use in Paris, urban planning and tourism in Barcelona). Two main findings emerged from the comparison. First, the differences between regulations can be explained by the type of actors who politicized the issue in the first place and framed it within a specific policy sector, the pre-existing policy instruments traditionally used in that sector, and the distribution of competences between the city and higher tiers of government. Second, the regulations remain continuously subject to intense political mobilisation by six types of actors with clashing interests: professional STR operators, associations of hosts or ‘home-sharers’, the hotel industry, residents’ associations or citizens’ movements, ‘sharing economy’ advocates, and corporate platforms. Each actor constructs different narratives regarding PM-STR, claiming different types of rights in this contentious politics of regulation.

Type: Article
Title: Explaining the diversity of policy responses to platform-mediated short-term rentals in European cities: a comparison of Barcelona, Paris and Milan
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0308518X19862286
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X19862286
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Short-term rentals, digital platforms, sharing economy, regulation, urban governance
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076768
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