Articles | Volume 75, issue 3
Geogr. Helv., 75, 253–257, 2020
Geogr. Helv., 75, 253–257, 2020

Interface 19 Aug 2020

Interface | 19 Aug 2020

Why did it not work? Reflections on regulating Airbnb and the complexity and agency of platform capitalism

Christian Smigiel

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Cited articles

Adamiak, C.: Mapping Airbnb supply in European cities, Ann. Tourism. Res., 71, 67-71,, 2018. 
Aguilera, T., Artioli, F., and Colomb, C.: Explaining the diversity of policy responses to platform-mediated short-term rentals in European cities: A comparison of Barcelona, Paris and Milan, Environ. Plan. A,, in press, 2019. 
Airbnb: Advocating on Behalf of our US Host Community, available at: (last access: 31 March 2020), 2020a. 
Airbnb: Fast Facts – Airbnb Newsroom: available at: (last access: 29 March 2020), 2020b. 
Amsterdam, C. O.: Press release “Cities alarmed about European protection of holiday rental”, available at: (last access: 31 March 2020), 2019. 
Short summary
This article deals with one of the most controversial topics in urban studies related to mobile capital and mobile people. At first glance this seems to be contradictory since numbers of short-term rentals have decreased dramatically due to the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. However, this paper is not about numbers and statistics. Instead it discusses structural issues regarding governance and power relations, which remain important topics, especially in times of crisis. It provides insight.