UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Neil May Memorial Lecture with Josh Ryan-Collins

20 September 2022, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Text '2022 Neil May MBE Memorial Lecture" next to a graphic image of buildings

Join us for the second memorial lecture celebrating Neil May MBE's life and pioneering work in the built environment sector

Event Information

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UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Lecture in Room 225, Reception in the Common Room
Central House
14 Upper Woburn Pl
United Kingdom

Neil May MBE

Neil May was an inspiration to many who work in the built environment sector. Alongside his innovative work on moisture in buildings he had passion for housing, social equality, and understanding the roots of the 'housing crisis’. 

Our guest speaker for the second Neil May Memorial Lecture is Josh Ryan-Collins (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose). Josh will discuss the UK / international high-income economy housing affordability crisis. He will argue that the demand for housing as (principally) a financial investment and source of rent extraction is the key challenge that needs addressing by policy makers, rather than supply-side interventions. He will also examine how increasing supply of housing stock is incompatible with the UK’s climate and biodiversity commitments, meaning the key challenge is to rethink the allocation of existing residential space.

Josh Ryan-Collins is an Associate Professor in Economics and Finance at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. His research is focused on macroeconomic policy, the economics of housing and land and sustainable finance. He is author of 'Why Can’t you Afford a Home?' (2018, Polity), 'Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing' (2017, Zed books, co-authored) and 'Where Does Money Come From?' (2012, NEF, co-authored). His academic work has been published in journals including: Housing Studies; Socioeconomic Review; Ecological Economics; Nature Climate Change and Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space. He was previously Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), one of the UK’s leading progressive think tanks, and is a council member of the UK’s Progressive Economy Forum.

The session will be chaired by Professor Bob Lowe (UCL Energy Institute) who will give an introduction reflecting upon Neil’s life and achievements. This will be followed by the lecture, an insightful Q&A, and a drinks reception.

In addition to his work at UCL’s Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, and as co-founder of the UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings, Neil helped shape the development of many of our Sustainable Development Foundation Alliance partners, with whom we’re proud to present this memorial lecture: the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products; the Good Homes Alliance; Passivhaus Trust and Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance. We'd also like to thank Professor Nick Gallent and The Bartlett School of Planning for their collaboration in organising this event.

Room information: Lecture in Room 225, Reception in the Common Room

Times: Lecture 6-7pm, Reception 7-8pm

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Presented in partnership with:

Logos of all the partner organisations for the Neil May Memorial Lecture