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In recent years, short-term rentals (STRs) have come under increased scrutiny for their impact on the cities in which they operate. While global cities like New York, Barcelona, and Amsterdam have been at the fore of these debates, smaller cities have increasingly begun to adopt STR regulations. Lexington, KY is one such city.

Using the map

Use this map to explore the footprint of Airbnb – the largest STR platform currently operating – in Lexington. This project draws inspiration from InsideAirbnb, a data visualization project for assessing the impact of STRs across different cities in the world. By including key indicators of neighborhood change, this project provides a more holistic picture of the relationship between STRs and gentrification.

  • Filter layers or Airbnb listing types by clicking a button in the header.
  • Hover the cursor overtop of a red point to learn more the Airbnb listing.
  • Choose a Census data variable from the dropdown bar.

  • Understanding the data

    There are three demographic variables available for exploration: percentage growth in median home value, population of African Americans, and median income. Each of these variables taken into consideration given their importance for understanding the contemporary dynamics of gentrification, both in general and in Lexington. Indeed, Lexington has struggled with gentrification in recent years. The city's Black communities in the north and east sides are especially vulnerable to such processes.

    It is important to note the limitations of this web tool. Taking into account the city of Lexington's highly seasonal tourism industry, this web map would be enriched by more data on Airbnb bookings by month. Furthermore, it's important to consider that the Airbnb listings represented here are scraped from the Airbnb website which scatters points by up to 200m in order to maintain host anonymity.