Thought you might like this!
Amsterdam is amazing!
Darrell Mussatto, Mayor, City of North Vancouver
“I think it’s obvious that Airbnb contributes to gentrification,” Sito Veracruz, an urban planner, 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. …
An estimated 22,000 rooms and flats in the Dutch capital are now offered for rent this way at least once a year. In the most popular neighbourhoods, as many as one in six homeowners rent out a room or flat on Airbnb.
Earlier this year, the Dutch bank ING stated in a report that Airbnb drives up real estate prices, because people are prepared to pay more for a flat when they can make extra money by renting it out. The bank found the effect to be “considerable”, although not everybody agrees on this conclusion. “The studies that have been done are not very well founded,” says Janine Harbers, a spokeswoman for Amsterdam’s city council. “But some effect seems likely.” …
In fact, Amsterdam has taken some steps to address the impact of Airbnb on its housing markets. Back in 2014, it was the first city to sign an agreement with the multinational, which saw Airbnb agree to levy and hand over tourist taxes to the city, remove addresses where the council has intervened because of complaints, and inform users of its rules (typically, that apartments should be rented out for no longer than 60 days per year, to not more than four guests at a time).
What the city has been unable to do, however, is make Airbnb disclose the identity of those hosts who do not stick to its rules. The company still refuses to do so on privacy grounds.
The people who live in a Golden Age usually go around complaining how yellow everything looks.
From “Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City,” by Russell Shorto – who adds this comment:
He was voicing a suspicion that no matter how grand and prosperous and momentous the time in which you are living may be, its grandeur is inevitably stained by the incessant drabness of the present.
Trendsmap is often an interesting way to see geographically what’s trending on Twitter. Here’s Vancouver this afternoon:
Looks like a certain football game is attracting interest. (You can generate your own Trendsmap by going here.)
As mentioned below, I’m going to Amsterdam for a week or so. Here’s their Trendsmap today:
Hmm, Amsterdam Ajax. Going from football to football.
Blogging will be light, if at all, until mid-February. But then … lots of Amstersdam.
London, New York, Vancouver, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Stockholm: Which city gets the title?
It’s hard to quantify what makes a city “greener” than any other metropolis, but there are some clues: car ownership, green space, bicycle usage, solar installations, recycling, and water consumption are just some of the factors that add up to create environmentally responsible cities. An infographic from HouseTrip lays out what different cities are doing in an easy-to-read format.
So which city is the greenest?
It’s hard to say. In many respects, Stockholm beats the competition. But the cities need to be considered in their regional contexts. New York is environmentally conscious compared to most other U.S. cities, and Vancouver is known as one of the greenest cities in Canada. All of the cities listed have features that should be emulated by other cities. As the world’s population becomes more urban, these models of what can be done will become increasingly important.