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Barcelona, Housing Rent Bubble in a Tourist City. Social Responses and Local Policies

Asunción Blanco-Romero (), Macià Blázquez-Salom () and Gemma Cànoves ()
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Asunción Blanco-Romero: Departament de Geografia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra, Edifici B, Carrer de la Fortuna, s/n, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Macià Blázquez-Salom: Departament de Geografia, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Campus de la UIB, Edifici Beatriu de Pinós, Ctra. De Valldemossa, 07122 Palma, Spain
Gemma Cànoves: Departament de Geografia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra, Edifici B, Carrer de la Fortuna, s/n, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 6, 1-18

Abstract: Ten years after the housing bubble burst, Barcelona has experienced an increase in rental prices. This increase in prices is due to a combination of factors such as household debt, urban entrepreneurialism and the marketing of the city, evictions, investment by speculative capital, changes in tenancy and an increase in rental housing for tourists. Overcrowding from tourists is gaining ground as a concern in multifunctional cities. Through an analysis of statistics and in-depth interviews with qualified agents, it is possible to observe how social struggles and unsustainability have outraged citizens and pitted them against overcrowding from tourism and the commodification of the city. The local administration of Barcelona has tried to respond to the situation by initiating a process of regulation through urban and tourism planning. Our analysis shows that these actions are of great importance but are not enough to alleviate some of the drawbacks, such as the shortage of rental housing and an excess of hotel beds.

Keywords: city; tourism; crisis; tourist housing; political economy of tourism; social movements; Barcelona; ABTS; PEUAT (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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