The urban dormitory: Reducing the negative consequences of studentification in small-sized university cities

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International and prestigious universities located in small cities are growing at a rate beyond the spatial capacity of their host city. Due to this, the presence of students and student housing in these cities has exponentially grown and resulted in a myriad of social, cultural, economic, and spatial impacts. This is known as ‘studentification’ which affects the co-existence and tolerance between the university community and the local community, particularly between students and local residents who lead entirely different and clashing lifestyles. Existing research on campus-city relationships has primarily focused on the economic benefits of large universities in small cities, whereas research on student housing in the Netherlands has primarily focused on the shortage for both incoming and existing students. However, much less attention has been given to the current conditions of student housing qualitatively and what student housing typologies mean for other residents in Delft that may have the potential to shift perspectives from student growth to limitation. As tensions are at an all-time high and further expansion growths have been announced by TU Delft, a need to understand the fundamental conditions that contribute to the negative consequences of studentification is needed more than ever to thoroughly understand the studentification process and recommend a long-term strategic plan towards co-existence. This policy brief highlights the effects of student housing in Delft and creates a strategic plan that is informed by practices of other European cities (Lund, Gottingen, and Loughborough) that is viewed through the political, spatial, and sociocultural lens of Delft to provide an evidence-based and comprehensive approach that transcends conventional practices. By proposing a pathway of policies, regulations, and strategies, a step-by-step process of mitigating the different conflicts and issues resulting from studenification may be mitigated.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe Evolving Scholar
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6366-797-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameUrbanism Policy Briefs


  • Studentification of cities
  • Small-sized university cities
  • Co-existence


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