The present paper investigates the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Airbnb’s market and focuses on the crisis’s effects on areas affected by digital intermediation. The study’s goal is to analyse Airbnb geographies by focusing on short-term rental supply and demand at the intra-urban scale. Using historical data and by adopting a quantitative and spatial data-oriented approach, the work highlights the shifting geographies of digital intermediation. Results show that while the areas that have increased their supply are limited, a large, clustered and contiguous portion of the cities seems to have reversed the exponential growth trend of recent years. Finally, the study offers a reflection on the future of short-term rentals in the post-pandemic city. The case study refers to four Italian cities: Florence, Milan, Rome, and Naples.

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Romano A. (2021) (open access)

The shifting geographies of digital intermediation: the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on short-term rentals in Italian cities

Digital Geography and Society