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New York residents protest against AirBnB at a City Hall hearing into the impact of short-term rentals in 2015. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Speaking with: Nicole Gurran on Airbnb and its impact on cities

Speaking with: Nicole Gurran on Airbnb and its impact on cities.

Airbnb has turned sharing our homes and living spaces with strangers from a fringe idea into a multi-million dollar business. It’s changed the way many of us travel.

But its growth has turned many suburbs and apartment buildings that are zoned for residential use into hotels, with temporary residents who have no long-term investment in the neighbourhoods they inhabit.

In cities like Sydney, Barcelona and Lisbon, where housing costs and vacancy are increasingly outpacing the wealth of citizens, Airbnb puts more power in the hands of landlords and threatens to push up prices for everyday tenants.

The University of Sydney’s Dallas Rogers speaks with Nicole Gurran, professor in urban and regional planning at the University of Sydney, about what different cities around the world are doing to regulate Airbnb, what the benefits and costs are of the “sharing economy” model in accommodation, and what data actually exists for researchers and policymakers in this growing industry.

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