• Mapping the distributive environmental justice of urban waters (2018-01-15)
    Arto Viinikka Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) Riikka Paloniemi Timo Assmuth

    In this paper, we identify patterns of distributive environmental justice in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (HMA) in terms of spatial proximity of urban waters, as a potential provider of a diverse set of environmental goods and well-being. Our focus is on the question how equally these benefits are distributed in HMA? To answer this we apply a GIS-based clustering analysis with spatial statistics to map the good and deprived access of different socio-economic and demographic groups to urban blue. We use income, education, language and age as factors to delineate residential areas and found not only differences in how various population groups are located in the four different municipalities of the HMA, but also differences in group distances to the nearest water areas. Results show that high income and high educational background, Swedish language and high age are factors more frequently related to living closer to water areas. At the same time, children, foreigners, and people having lower economic status tend to live further away from urban blue. This is important knowledge to be integrated into urban planning. The recognition of lacking opportunities suggests more consideration towards these aforementioned population groups to reduce inequality and to ensure just distribution of accessible and usable urban nature in the HMA.

  • Performing “home” in the sharing economies of tourism: the Airbnb experience in Sofia, Bulgaria (2018-03-12)
    Maartje Roelofsen Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University

    This article explores how “home” is performed in the emerging sharing economies of tourism, drawing on the example of Airbnb in Sofia, Bulgaria. Based on an (auto)ethnographic approach, this article analyses the sometimes contested ways in which both hosts and guests engage in the everyday embodied practices of home-making. In doing so, it challenges Airbnb’s essentialized idea of home as a site of belonging, “authenticity” or “localness”. It also shows how the political and historical specificities, as well as the materialities of people’s homes significantly shape the ways in which ordinary practices of homemaking play out and consequently affect feelings of (un)homeliness as part of the Airbnb experience. By using performance theory as an analytical framework, this article seeks to contribute to a critical understanding of the contemporary geographies of home in relation to the global sharing economies of tourism, one that is attuned to openness, interrelatedness, and a constant mode of becoming.