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New frontiers of studentification: the commodification of student housing as a driver of urban change

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journal contribution
posted on 18.06.2018, 13:38 by Chloe Kinton, Darren Smith, John Harrison, Andreas Culora
Studentification has permeated policy-orientated agendas on community cohesion in different national contexts, and is of increasing public relevance at a time of changing systems of higher education. To date, studentification has been treated as a process of urban change that leads to the physical downgrading of neighbourhoods and social conflict, tied to concentrations of low-quality student houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Our aim in this paper is to widen conceptual understandings of studentification, drawing upon a novel study of this process in Loughborough, UK. Focussing on the Kingfisher estate, we provide the first investigation of the formation of a studentified neighbourhood, using data from administrative datasets to track tenurial transformations from owner-occupation to private rental shared housing. Our analyses are deepened from a survey of student preferences for accommodation, and interviews with local community representatives, to reveal a production-consumption interface for high-quality student housing in Kingfisher. We argue that this is illustrative of a new frontier of studentification, which emphasises the volatility of student housing markets. Crucially, these dynamics are having a significant influence on broader changing urban geographies, such as the de-studentification of other neighbourhoods, and the overall supply of (affordable) housing. Our paper concludes by arguing for a wider conceptualisation of studentification that does not inherently view the process as a harbinger of downgraded urban environments. From a policy perspective, our research stresses the urgent need for different place-specific solutions and policy interventions to mitigate the challenges of studentification.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

The Geographical Journal

Citation

KINTON, C. ... et al, 2018. New frontiers of studentification: the commodification of student housing as a driver of urban change. The Geographical Journal, 184(3), pp. 242-254.

Publisher

© Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). Published by Wiley

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: KINTON, C. ... et al, 2018. New frontiers of studentification: the commodification of student housing as a driver of urban change. The Geographical Journal, 184(3), pp. 242-254, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12263. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Acceptance date

22/05/2018

Publication date

2018-07-15

ISSN

0016-7398

eISSN

1475-4959

Language

en

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