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Public value for whom? Winners and losers in Edinburgh's short-term let licensing scheme

Anastasiadou, Constantia; McMillan, Janice



Stemming from a project seeking to explore whether Public Administration’s public value framework may be a useful conceptual framework to inform tourism policy making, the authors studied the introduction of short-term let (STL) licensing regulation in Scotland since October 2022. Focusing on issue problematisation, and the implications of the designation of the city of Edinburgh as a short term let control area, it is argued that the concept of `community` is a key influencer in differing policy perspectives. Using data from 25 semi-structured interviews with public, private and community actors it is illustrated that some participants assume a singular, universally accepted understanding of community, this defined by physical proximity and permanence in place. A resultant view, at the expense of more transient residents or visitors, is that in access and claim to space and place licensing should be used as a central control tool. Beyond the impacts of STLs on `community` welfare and wellbeing raised in the licensing-related documentation, and in previous studies (i.e., housing shortage, overtourism, anti-social behaviour), the interview data also highlights the existence of broader discords around the ownership of the city and its public spaces, the emergence of micro-geographies of discontent and the primacy of claiming individual rights and privileges over creating collective public value. Edinburgh’s example demonstrates how diverse issues may drive `community` reactions to STLs, shaping issue definition and influencing implementation, and ultimately, the perceived success or failure of the licensing scheme in creating positive public value outcomes.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Regional Studies Association Annual Conference 2023 - Transforming Regions: Policies and Planning for People and Places
Start Date Jun 14, 2023
End Date Jun 17, 2023
Deposit Date Jun 17, 2023