The rise (and rise) of vertical studentification: Exploring the drivers of studentification in Australia

Mark Holton, Clare M. Mouat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    The conditions for studentification are changing with increasing numbers of students living in high-rise – and high-quality – micro-apartment-style accommodation provided through purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) blocks. This ‘verticalisation’ of studentification is a global phenomenon, with Australia representing a frontier with distinctive geographies that result from its rapid ascension to the second-ranked global destination for international students. Yet, despite rising student numbers being recognised as positively impacting national and state economies, little is understood of how student accommodation development fits within the broader scheme of Australian urban revitalisation. To address this, we combine concepts relating to condo-ism and condo-isation to offer an original analytical framework that examines how PBSA has created new conditions through which vertical studentification can be produced in and of cities. We therefore ask how vertical studentification relates to wider Australian housing and urban development trends in ways that differentiate PBSA development and trajectories from other forms of accommodation. We also question how vertical studentification relates to the realities and regulation expressed as intra-urban geographies of Australian university cities and their resident-host communities. We argue that deliberately recognising and dovetailing several self-reinforcing and contradicting urban development dimensions invites a foundation for further interrogating vertical studentification in existing and emerging sites in Australia and beyond.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1866-1884
    Number of pages19
    JournalUrban Studies
    Issue number9
    Early online date17 Jun 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


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