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URBAN SECOND HOMES: Temporal-Dwelling in London

By : Karen Lee Bar-Sinai

Despite the extensive attention given to second and recreation homes in rural areas, their urban appearance has had only limited examination. This paper focuses on the trend as it is manifested in London and suggests urban second homes are an emerging phenomenon in contemporary cities. Drawing links between recreation homes and other aspects of mobility and dwelling in the global metropolis, the phenomenon is situated beyond local housing markets and placed in the context of globalization and urban restructuring. The part-time dwelling patterns it introduces are shown to challenge attempts to define and evaluate its spread. Additionally, the cross-spatial nature of urban second homes turns their owners into temporal occupants of several built environments simultaneously. They are thus defined both as a product and an emerging force in global cities, and as such beg unique attention. The phenomenon calls for the development of effective monitoring and tracking systems for addressing its development in cities. Lessons from the rural experience are used to propose policy approaches and the challenges posed by property market environment are emphasized. It is concluded that the transnational nature of urban second homes, and the inter-city connections they form and represent, call for cooperation between cities in addressing them. This may allow the creation of a global data-base and policy-bank as part of the challenge to maintain sustainable cities in the face of disappearing national borders.
Keywords : Second Homes, Recreation Homes, Multiple Dwellings, Cities, London.

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