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Watch ‘Post-pandemic housing transformation and the value of home’

If you missed our recent keynote and panel discussion on housing held online on 26 February 2021 you can watch it now.

Opening address by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Hazel Chu. Keynote lecture by Professor Susan Smith, University of Cambridge with a response by Professor Manuel Aalbers, KU Leuven, the University of Leuven.

The following panel discussion also included Professor Mary Murphy, Maynooth University and Associate Professor, Declan Redmond, UCD. The event was chaired by Professor Kenneth Gibb, University of Glasgow.


The COVID19 pandemic has impacted on our lived experience of housing and home in ways that will surely have profound and lasting effects. A crisis unprecedented in its economic, social and demographic impact, the prospect of it coming to an end, and the thought of a post-pandemic world that is different, maybe better than before, is a powerful call to action. The possibility, necessity and appeal of positioning housing at the centre of that recovery is compelling. Provoked by a series of reflections on the repositioning of home and the more-than-financial costs of housing, this debate will focus on the imagination, policies and practices required to transform the inclusivity, sustainability and wellbeing of neighbourhoods and communities.

The panel will reflect on how our values of home relate to a new moral economy of housing capable of reconciling the social and economic impact of our housing market system and delivering this housing transformation.

14:00 Opening address

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Hazel Chu was elected the 352nd Lord Mayor of Dublin on 29 June 2020 and is the 9th woman to hold the office. She studied politics and history in UCD and trained to be a barrister at the King’s Inns. After being called to the Bar she worked in Sydney, Hong Kong and Guilin. On returning home she was offered a Fellowship by UCD Smurfit and worked in New York for Bord Bia. In 2013 she became Diageo’s Head of Brand, Corporate and Trade Communications. She first became involved in politics in 2014, when she ran her partner’s local election campaign. In 2019, she was elected to Dublin City Council and was elected Chair of the Green Party. In her spare time she lends her voice to promoting diversity and equality, and is a regular media contributor.

14:10 Keynote speaker

Professor Susan Smith, University of Cambridge is a social and economic geographer interested in the interdisciplinary world of housing studies. She has been particularly concerned with the interplay and impacts of housing, mortgage and financial markets, and with the role of housing in shaping economic inequality in the long run.

14:45 Respondent

Professor Manuel Aalbers, KU Leuven, the University of Leuven trained as a human geographer, sociologist and urban planner and is currently Professor of Social and Economic Geography where he leads an ERC project and research group on the intersection of real estate, finance and states. His main research interest is in the intersection of real estate (including housing), finance and states. Manuel has published on redlining, social and financial exclusion, neighbourhood change (including decline and gentrification), the privatization of social housing and the Anglophone hegemony in academia.

15:00 Panellists

  • Professor Mary Murphy, Maynooth University lectures in the Department of Sociology. Her research interests include welfare policy, labour market, social security and housing, power and civil society, eco-social states and gender. She has published widely in key international journals. Recent books include the co-edited Irish Welfare State in the 21st Century (with F Dukelow Palgrave 2016), and Policy Analysis in Ireland (with John Hogan Policy Press, 2021). A contributor to national policy debate, she was a member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (2013-2017) and in 2019 was appointed by President M.D. Higgins to the Council of State.
  • Associate Professor Declan Redmond, University College Dublin teaches modules on Housing, Planning and Sustainability, the History of City Planning, Planning Methodologies and Planning Studio. His principal research interests revolve around housing and planning, urban regeneration, the politics and governance of planning and conservation policy and practice. He is currently involved in projects investigating the housing system and the mortgage crisis; conservation of the built heritage; planning and community gain and the participation of disadvantaged communities in the planning system.


Professor Kenneth Gibb, University of Glasgow in the School of Social and Political Sciences in the subject area of Urban Studies. He is also Director of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence funded by ESRC, AHRC and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. CaCHE is located in the Olympia Building, Bridgeton, in the social sciences research hub. For four years, Ken was the first director of Policy Scotland, and also a co-director of What Works Scotland co-funded by ESRC and Scottish Government (until taking up the role in CaCHE). Ken is Chair of the Advisory Board to Dublin City Council’s Housing Observatory.