Monday, May 30, 2016

Aniversário da Liga dos Amigos do Jardim Botânico de Lisboa - Trinta Anos a Criar Raízes - 1986 / 2016

Aniversário da LAJB - Trinta Anos a Criar Raízes - 1986 / 2016. 
Hoje é o dia de aniversário da Liga dos Amigos do Jardim Botânico de Lisboa, que faz 30 anos, tendo sido criada em 30 de Maio de 1986:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Turistificação de Lisboa: O Turista, o "cidadão principal" da cidade?

Em vez das vozes dos nossos vizinhos (cada vez mais a desaparecer dos nossos bairros historicos) ouvimos o barulho das rodinhas destas bagagens. Parece que se decidiu (quem?) que estes passam a ser o "cidadão principal" da cidade. Abram alas para deixar entrar o Exmo. Turista e mais os seus dollars & euros! A agonia da turistificação do centro histórico de Lisboa... o Turista, o "cidadão principal" da cidade?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Airbnb to be legalised in London

New rules announced this week mean Londoners will soon be able to rent their homes on sites such as Airbnb without the risk of fines
Londoners will soon be able to legally let their homes through websites such asAirbnb, thanks to an amendment to the capital’s housing legislation currently going through parliament.
There are already thousands of homes in the capital advertised for short-term holiday lets, but technically the practice is illegal and residents face fines of up to £20,000 for failing to secure planning permission before doing so.
The decision to update the London-only law, announced on Monday, ends years of confusion over the practice. In a written statement, housing minister Brandon Lewis criticised the current legislation for being “outdated” and “inconsistently enforced”.
“We want to update these laws to help boost the sharing economy, in light of the popularity of websites like Airbnb and Onefinestay, to help people rent out their property on a short-term basis.” he said.
“It will provide income to householders who want to rent out their home – for example, if they themselves go on holiday.”
Under the updated law, homeowners will be able to let out their house, flat or spare rooms for up to three months a year.
The move was praised by Airbnb, who said the reforms will help locals meet the cost of living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. According to the site, which has hosted over 30 million guests since it launched in 2008, many UK hosts work in the creative industries and more than 40% are self-employed, freelance or part time workers.
However, some London councils have opposed the changes, warning that it could turn some residential properties into hotels and disrupt neighbourhoods.
Westminster City Council have asked for the length of short term lets permitted to be reduced from three months to one. Cabinet member for sustainability, Cllr Heather Acton, said: “This is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. This is not about being bureaucratic – it is about making sure housing in central London does not become a chain of default hotels with rooms rented out at exorbitant prices to the highest bidder.”
Others claim sites like Airbnb have a negative effect on the rental market, reducing the number of long-term homes available for locals, and pushing up rents in the process.
Airbnb has already faced legal battles in many cities around the world, with authorities putting increasing pressure on the site to ensure that hosts comply with local laws, as well as paying the correct taxes.

"Berlin's government legislates against Airbnb" (E Lisboa? Nada faz!)

Berlin's government legislates against Airbnb Owners can no longer rent whole properties to tourists, as officals blame  websites including Airbnb, Wimdu and 9Flats for driving up rents

Berlin began restricting private property rentals through Airbnb and similar online platforms on Sunday, threatening hefty fines in an attempt to keep housing affordable for local people.

Authorities in the German capital fear the trend for people to let apartments to tourists through sites such as Airbnb, Wimdu and 9Flats is cutting into a limited property supply and driving up rents.
A new law – Zweckentfremdungsverbot – has been described by Andreas Geisel, Berlin’s head of urban development, as “a necessary and sensible instrument against the housing shortage in Berlin … I am absolutely determined to return such misappropriated apartments to the people of Berlin and to newcomers”.
Rents in Berlin rose 56% between 2009 and 2014 but are low compared with other major European cities at about €10 (£8) a square metre this year.
As Berlin has become one of Europe’s top travel destinations, with 30.2m overnight stays last year, the Airbnb trend has affected the local hotel industry. According to research company GBI, the private online bookings represent a “parallel market of an additional 6.1m” overnight stays a year.
The law was passed in 2014 but gave a two-year transition period that ended on Saturday, when owners became limited to renting only rooms via such sites, not entire flats or houses. Offenders can face fines of up to €100,000.
The city has appealed to the “civic spirit” of residents, asking them to anonymously report suspected misuse online.
Tim Boening, 41, who rents out a loft in the trendy Kreuzberg district, said he was not shocked by the law, given practices he had seen. He cited “the nice couple with two small apartments who move in together to a bigger place and keep the two apartments to rent them out on Airbnb … I don’t think that’s good – it should be stopped.”
But a 48-year-old woman who did not want to give her name expressed fury about the change, having rented out four apartments near the city centre via Airbnb. She claimed the city was making Berliners pay for its failed housing policy while serving the needs of the hotel industry.
She was especially angry about the request to inform on offenders, saying that “in Germany, of all places, maybe we should reconsider this kind of thing”.
Airbnb Germany said: “Berliners want clear and simple rules for home sharing, so they can continue to share their own homes with guests. We will continue to encourage Berlin policymakers to listen to their citizens and to follow the example of other big cities such as Paris, London, Amsterdam or Hamburg and create new, clear rules for normal people who are sharing their own homes.”
Wimdu has filed a lawsuit, arguing the law breaches the constitution of Berlin. The owners of 9Flats told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “We face a law in Berlin that would drive us into bankruptcy.”