Belong Anywhere, Commodify Everywhere. : A critical look into the state of private short-term rentals in Stockholm, Sweden.
Under the banner of the ‘sharing economy’, private short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb have witnessed tremendous success, facilitating millions of overnight stays in everyday homes. And while the issue has garnered considerable attention from both popular media and policy makers in cities such as New York, Amsterdam, London and Berlin, little attention has been paid to the topic in Stockholm, Sweden as well as academic literature. With this absence of discussion serving as a point of departure, I analyze both primary and secondary data pertaining to the rise of Airbnb in Stockholm. With a theoretical lens based in critical poststructuralist thought, I argue that Airbnb is embedded within neoliberal urbanism, fueling the social and economic forces behind gentrification. In order to address the problematic implications of Airbnb and similar platforms, I suggest policymakers and applicable actors to review the current taxing scheme, consider temporal restrictions, align short-term rental laws with subletting laws and communicate clearly.
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