October 10

Viewpoint: The Airbnb’fication of Cape Town

By Simone Cupido

f you spend any time in the urban center of Cape Town on a Saturday or Sunday morning, specifically between Long, Loop, and Bree Streets, it is not hard to see that there is a housing crisis.  Desolate, there are hardly any people living in the city center, with no sight of families or communities cultivating the space. Although the coffee shops are often empty, they are more empty than usual. Before, one could almost always find groups of tourists ambling past under the watchful guard of City Centre Improvement District officers and their tasers. At these moments, I wonder if the ideas of an urban center as a place of movement, community, or population are antiquated. These questions have only been furthered under the rise of the “Airbnb’fication” of Cape Town.

Photo courtesy of cottonbro studio.

Source: Africa Is a Country (link opens in a new window)

housing, urban development