FT6: Koukaki, Acropolis

The impact of Airbnb and the Athenian case

The areas of Koukaki-Acropolis are located in the very center of Athens. Koukaki is a residential area, while Acropolis hosts mixed land uses and constitutes a touristic pole that attracts thousands of visitors every day. During the period of 2014-2015, Koukaki-Acropolis emerged as the 5th most popular Airbnb destination worldwide, with visitors rising by 800%. Today, the impact of this kind of shared economy has become apparent in multiple ways: rent prices have risen and a significant part of residence has been withdrawn from the long-term tenancy. At the same time there are important changes in the neighborhoods with new touristic and recreational land uses emerging. During the fieldtrip, a broader discussion will take place regarding the impact of short-term rentals in Athens as well as the rising question of touristification drawn from the international experience: In which ways the local context of Greece (high rates of homeownership, low levels of residential mobility) affects the expansion of this practice and its impact on the geography of the city? In which cases does this practice constitute a survival strategy for low-income households during the crisis and in which does it constitutes a chance for speculation on land and real estate property?