The service hub concept is strongly associated with deprived areas of North American inner cities, where agglomerations of low?cost housing and service providers form a space of survival for marginalised populations. In this paper, we contend that service hubs can take other forms, including as small?scale sites of housing and service provision, informally networked across an urban region. We develop this argument with reference to suburban campgrounds in Auckland, New Zealand—a city experiencing a severe housing affordability crisis. Both individually and collectively, campgrounds enable vulnerable households, as well as tourists, to inhabit an increasingly exclusionary urban environment. Drawing on interviews with 24 resident campers and eight managers, we highlight the role of campgrounds in supporting residents through the provision of informal housing and on?site services. This provision also benefits the facilities’ owners and managers, by creating a year?round rental income stream. We find that campgrounds are critically important for those whose lives are rendered precarious by the housing market.
SOURCE: Kearns R, Collins D, Bates L, and Serjeant E. “Campgrounds as service hubs for the marginally housed” Geographical Research, 27 June 2019.
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