This research paper concerns itself with short term leasing and its effects on the transformation of the city. Responsible for the advancement of this paper were concerns, thoughts and problems that arose from the everyday empirical experiences one may have with a certain urban location, as well as the “transformation” that occurs to it as a direct result of new tourist infrastructure established through the online services of Airbnb.
This alternative means of accommodation allows for the leasing of housing toward tourist oriented use, providing the visitor with the amenities of a hotel room, while also allowing him or her to experience the city in a way similar to the way a local resident would do it. These modern tourist lodgings can be located in many parts of the city, while at the same time creating their own functions as well as needs. This new binary role that housing has assumed, ultimately leads to the transformation of neighbourhoods and their surrounding locations.
Starting with the analysis of concepts such as accommodation, tourism, as well as tourist accommodation, this paper goes on to further expand upon the Airbnb phenomenon, as well as its impact upon the transformation of the city. In order to better understand this, a specific urban enclave is chosen, and in this particular case, the well-known neighbourhood of Koukaki.
Koukaki is a neighbourhood located in the central part of Athens, between the Filopappou hill and Kallirois Street, beneath the Acropolis. It is a fitting candidate for research, as it combines both the features of a central location of a city, as well as the features of a more traditional neighbourhood, all the while being a favourite spot of both tourists and locals. Following an inspection of its development in time, the impact of Airbnb upon its infrastructure, economy, as well as the everyday life of its residents will also be analyzed. The data collected will be based upon close analysis of financial studies, personal experiences, interviews conducted with and questionnaires handed out to local and permanent residents, as well as any existing literature.
The nature of each area is closely linked to its identity. In any case, the study and the forthcoming results regarding the transformation of this area as far as its land, its character, and the everyday lives of its residents are concerned, are of great interest.