The Social World, Diversity, Institutions and Values

“Socio-spatial effects of the Airbnb short term rentals in the city of Athens”

Balampanidis Dimitris, Pettas Dimitris, Papatzani Eva

Research ProposalConferenceResearch ResultsShort BiosPublications

Summary of the Research Proposal

This research proposal examines the recently widespread practice of the Airbnb short term rentals in the city of Athens, with a view to revealing its multiple effects on space and society. The scientific interest revolves around two major research questions. The first one concerns the extent of the Airbnb phenomenon, its special characteristics and particular geography; and the second one concerns the importance of the Airbnb rentals for the residential and economic strategies of the Airbnb hosts, for developments in the real estate market and for possible transformations in the city’s neighbourhoods.

The research questions will be explored from the standpoints of urban and social geography, through the combination of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The quantitative research will involve the cartographic and statistical processing of primary data collected by the online platform of the “Airbnb” company, as well as data provided by the “Inside Airbnb” open source data tool. The data processing will be conducted at different scales of space: first, at the regional level (Region of Attica) and, next, at the city and the neighbourhood level (Municipality of Athens). A special emphasis will be given to the neighbourhood level, where data analysis will be enriched by qualitative research, that is, by a series of semi-structured and in-depth interviews with a diverse and representative sample of interviewees, including Airbnb hosts and guests, homeowners and long-term renters, Airbnb professionals, association representatives and public administration officials. The qualitative research will focus on two central areas of Athens with significantly high concentrations of Airbnb rentals and, therefore, of particular interest: the neighbourhood of Koukaki-Akropoli and the area located west of the very central Patission Avenue including Victoria square, Agios Panteleimonas, Attiki, Amerikis square, Agios Nikolaos and Kato Patissia.

Despite the extent to which the Airbnb phenomenon has developed in various cities around the globe, it has attracted little research attention yet, while it is practically unexplored in the case of Greece. However, the Airbnb phenomenon has been a matter of serious concern to the governments and public administration – that have already planned and implemented relevant policies – but also to the residents of the cities – who have already developed unofficial local initiatives to address negative effects on their neighbourhoods and everyday life. This research proposal is expected to contribute to the so far limited scientific debate on the Airbnb phenomenon and introduce the issue also in Greece. Drawing from the experience of other cities, this research proposal aims at thoroughly exploring the Airbnb phenomenon in the city of Athens, revealing its particular dimensions and formulating appropriate policy guidelines. The case of Athens is considered to be of particular interest due to the different local context and particular processes of urban development – compared with cities in North America or Western Europe – as well as due to the local condition of a deep, long and continuing economic crisis.

To view the conference’s program in Greek, click here and browse to the tab “Ημερίδα”.

Research: “Socio-spatial effects of the Airbnb short term rentals in the city of Athens”

Research Group: Balampanidis Dimitris, Pettas Dimitris, Papatzani Eva

The research project “Socio-spatial effects of the Airbnb short term rentals in the city of Athens” was funded by the Research Centre for the Humanities (RCH) for the year 2019.


During the last few years, the (Airbnb) short term rentals are growing rapidly in Greece, against the background of the rising ‘urban tourism’ and, at the same time, against the background of the multifaceted and ongoing crisis, and the diachronic absence of housing policies. This paper presents the results of the research entitled “Socio-spatial effects of the Airbnb short term rentals in the city of Athens”, which was funded during 2019 by the Research Centre for the Humanities (RCH). After a comprehensive literature review, this paper discusses: a) the extent of the Airbnb phenomenon in the city of Athens, its special characteristics and its particular geography, b) the effects of Airbnb on urban space, housing, society and the economy, as well as on the consequent “touristification” trends, and c) aspects of relevant public policies. Overall, it is shown that the (Airbnb) short term rentals constitute a quiet complex phenomenon and emerge as a transformative force of urban space, society and the economy, with multiple effects, varying from positive to highly negative effects for a wide spectrum of the cities’ population.

The full academic report for this research’s results is available in Greek. To view it, click here and browse to the tab “Αποτελέσματα Έρευνας”.


Dimitris Balampanidis received his PhD in Urban Social Geography from Harokopio University of Athens, holds an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and a Diploma in Architecture from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH). He is currently teaching Human Geography in the School of Humanities of the Hellenic Open University (EAP) and has teaching experience on Human Geography, Urban and Regional Planning in the Geography Department of Harokopio University of Athens and the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). His research work concerns socio-spatial inequalities in urban space and focuses especially on the access of “locals” and immigrants to housing, residential segregation and transcultural coexistence, as well as on spatial policies and planning. He has conducted several national and European research projects at Harokopio University of Athens, the National Centre for Social Research (EKKE), the Urban Environment Laboratory (National Technical University of Athens), the École Française d’Athènes (EfA) and the research department UMR Géographies-Cités (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, CNRS).



Dimitris Pettas was born in Athens in 1984. He studied urban and regional planning and urban geography at the University of Thessaly (Department of Urban and Regional Planning), London School of Economics and Political Science (Department of Geography) and the National Technical University of Athens (School of Architecture). He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Regional Development Institute (Panteion University) and adjunct lecturer at the Hellenic Open University. His research interests include the study of: the social production of public space, the development of platform economy and its impact on urban environment, the role of power relations and agency in modes of urban governance, the exploration and comparative analysis of epistemological and ontological approaches concerning the production of urban environment and urban life.





Eva Papatzani is a PhD candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at the School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). She is an Architect by training (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) with a Master’s degree in Urban & Regional Planning (NTUA). The subject of her PhD thesis is “Migration, diversity and negotiations of cohabitation at the neighborhoods of Athens. Institutional policies and everyday practices”, and it has been supported with scholarships from the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT)/Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI), and the Special Account for Research (NTUA). Her research interests regard the urban social geography, and focus on issues of urban transformations in the neighborhood level, socio-spatial segregation, immigration, interethnic relationships and conflicts, as well as urban policies. As a PhD candidate, she has participated as a Teaching Assistant in undergraduate courses at the School of Architecture (NTUA). She participates as a researcher in research projects on urban social geography, she has participated in international conferences and she has published articles in scientific journals.


Selected Publications

  • Balampanidis D. (forthcoming) “Housing pathways of immigrants in the city of Athens: from homelessness to homeownership. Considering contextual factors and human agency”, Housing, Theory & Society
  • Balampanidis D., Bourlessas P. (forthcoming) “Ambiguities of vertical multiethnic coexistence in the city of Athens: Living together but unequally… Between conflicts and encounters”, DIVERCITIES: Dealing with Diversity in Deprived and Mixed Neighbourhoods, Van Kempen R., Oosterlynck S., Verschraegen G. (ed.), Bristol: Policy Press
  • Μπαλαμπανίδης Δ., Παπατζανή Ε., Πέττας Δ. (2018) «Μύθοι και πραγματικότητες για την AirBnB βραχυχρόνια μίσθωση ακινήτων (ή, Για να μη χτιστούν και οι ακάλυπτοι…)», Σύγχρονα Θέματα, 142: 7-9
  • Balampanidis D. (2017) “Diversity and entrepreneurship in the city of Athens: Different views and ambiguous perceptions of local entrepreneurs”, Argomenti. Rivista di economia, cultura e ricerca sociale, 8: 49-72
  • Μπαλαμπανίδης Δ. (2016) «Γεωγραφίες της εγκατάστασης των μεταναστών στην Αθήνα, 2000-2010: Στεγαστικές διαδρομές, πρόσβαση στην ιδιοκτησία και εθνοφυλετικοί χωροκοινωνικοί διαχωρισμοί», Διδακτορική διατριβή, ­Αθήνα: Εθνικό Αρχείο Διδακτορικών Διατριβών,
  • Balampanidis D., Polyzou I. (2016) “Migrants’ settlement in two central neighborhoods of Athens: An analytical framework for urban transformations and interethnic coexistence”, CITY, 20 (1): 75-90
  • Serraos K., Greve T., Asprogerakas V., Balampanidis D., Chani A. (2016) “Athens, a capital in crisis: tracing the socio-spatial impacts”, Cities in Crisis. Socio-spatial impacts of the economic crisis in Southern European cities, Knieling J., Othengrafen F. (ed.), London and New York: Routledge, pp. 116-138 (Regional Studies Association Best Book Award 2016)
  • Μπαλαμπανίδης Δ. (2015) «Η πρόσβαση των μεταναστών στην ιδιοκατοίκηση (2000-2010): Βασικά σχήματα ‘οριζόντιου’ και ‘κάθετου’ εθνοτικού στεγαστικού διαχωρισμού στον Δήμο Αθηναίων», Κοινωνικός Άτλαντας της Αθήνας, (δημοσιευμένο και στα αγγλικά και γαλλικά)
  • Μπαλαμπανίδης Δ., Πολύζου Ί. (2015) «Αναχαιτίζοντας τάσεις εγκατάλειψης του αθηναϊκού κέντρου: η παρουσία των μεταναστών στην κατοικία και στις επιχειρηματικές δραστηριότητες», Κοινωνικός Άτλαντας της Αθήνας, (δημοσιευμένο και στα αγγλικά και γαλλικά)
  • Μπαλαμπανίδης Δ., Πατατούκα Έ., Σιατίτσα Δ. (2013) «Το δικαίωμα στην κατοικία την περίοδο της κρίσης στην Ελλάδα», Γεωγραφίες, Αθήνα: Νήσος, 22: 31-43

  • Πέττας Δ. (2018) Δημόσιος χώρος, Πόλη και Εξουσία. Εκδόσεις των Συναδέλφων, Αθήνα. ISBN: 9789609797702.
  • Pettas D. (forthcoming) Power relations, conflict and everyday life in urban public space. CΙΤΥ.
  • Pettas D. (2018) Struggles against exclusion in Exarcheia Square, Athens. Territorio 86, 157-166.
  • Μπαλαμπανίδης Δ., Παπατζανή Ε. και Πέττας Δ. (2018) Μύθοι και πραγματικότητες για την Aibnb βραχυχρόνια μίσθωση ακινήτων. Σύγχρονα Θέματα 142, 7-9.
  • Pettas D. (2017) The production of space under the condition of conflict. In Maloutas T. and Spirellis S. (eds.) Athens Social Atlas (Available in English, French, and Greek)
  • Πέττας Δ. (2016) Ο δημόσιος χώρος ως πεδίο αστικών συγκρούσεων. Σχέσεις εξουσίας και καθημερινότητα στη πλατεία Αγίου Παντελεήμονα. Γεωγραφίες 27, 137 – 153.
  • Pettas D. (2015) Public space as a field of urban struggle: Everyday life practices as the outcome of power relations. The Greek Review of Social Research, 144, 135 – 140 (
  • Πέττας Δ. (2015) O δημόσιος χώρος ως πεδίο αστικών συγκρούσεων: η επίδραση των σχέσεων εξουσίας στην καθημερινότητα και τις πρακτικές χρήσης. Διδακτορική διατριβή. Αθήνα: Εθνικό Αρχείο Διδακτορικών Διατριβών,

  • Παπατζανή Ε., Μπαλαμπανίδης Δ. και Δ. Πέττας (2018) Μύθοι και πραγματικότητες για την Airbnb βραχυχρόνια μίσθωση ακινήτων (ή, Για να μην χτιστούν και οι ακάλυπτοι…). Σύγχρονα Θέματα, 142, 7-9.
  • Papatzani E. και Α. Demetzi (2017) Diversity and creativity in the center of Athens: Co-existence or implicit conflicts?, στο Tilbe F., Iskender E. και Ι. Sirkeci (2017) The Migration Conference 2017 Proceedings, London: Transnational Press London, 200-213.
  • Παπατζανή Ε. (2015) Κρίση και χωρο-κοινωνικές ταυτότητες των μεταναστών. Εμπειρικές διερευνήσεις στην Αθήνα. Urban Conflicts, Θεσσαλονίκη: Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης, 357-367.
  • Παπατζανή Ε. (2015) Διαπραγματεύσεις ορίων και όρων συμβίωσης στο κέντρο της Αθήνας. Γεωγραφίες, Αθήνα: Νήσος, 25, 136-140.
  • Παπατζανή Ε. (2014) Πόλη & πολυ-πολιτισμική συγκατοίκηση. Χωρικές ταυτότητες των μεταναστών στο ελληνικό αστικό τοπίο. Γεωγραφίες, Αθήνα: Νήσος, 23, 114-119.
  • Παπατζανή Ε., Αυγερινού-Κολώνια Σ. και Ε. Κλαμπατσέα (2013) Κρίση, αυταρχικές πολιτικές-πρακτικές και χωρικές επιλογές των μεταναστών στην Αθήνα. Πλ. Ελ. Βενιζέλου, Νίκαια, στα πρακτικά του Συνεδρίου Μεταβολές και Ανασημασιοδοτήσεις του Χώρου στην Ελλάδα της Κρίσης, Βόλος: Πανεπιστημιακές εκδόσεις Θεσσαλίας, 388-395.