Dr.ir. G. Bracken MPhil

Dr.ir. G. Bracken MPhil



Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and educated at Killashee and Newbridge College (and also at St Louis de Gonzague, Paris), I completed my B.Sc.Arch and Dip.Arch at the Dublin Institute of Technology (graduating with Distinction in Thesis) in 1992. I then worked as an architect in Berlin, Bangkok and Singapore before pursuing an M.Sc.Arch at TU Delft (graduating  cum laudein 2004 with a specialisation in Urbanism). I received my Ph.D. in Architecture Theory from TU Delft in 2009 (my thesis was a Foucauldian interrogation of post-socialist Shanghai). I then worked in the Theory Section of the Architecture Department, where I co-founded the architecture theory journal Footprint, before moving to the Spatial Planning and Strategy section of the Urbanism Department in 2016, where I conduct research, mentor masters’ and post-masters’ students, supervise PhD candidates and run a number of Theory of Urbanism courses. From 2010 to 2016 I was a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, where I co-founded the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) with a €1.2 million grant from Marie Curie Actions, as well as a series of annual seminars run in conjunction with TU Delft which has led to a number of publications.


I am an Assistant Professor of Spatial Planning and Strategy at the Department of Urbanism of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of the TU Delft. My research work has focused mainly on East and Southeast Asia cities and their citizens, particularly the right to the city. This is also seen in the series of research seminars and publications on citizenship that take account of Michel Foucault’s concept of the ‘care of the self’. I also write and illustrate a series of popular architectural guides to cities in Asia and Europe. My current research is focused more on how cities operate as nodes in networks, with a view to finding new ways of facilitating this in the future using lessons drawn from history.


Books (academic)

  • Contemporary Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West
  • Future Challenges of Cities in Asia (with P. Rabe, R. Parthasarathy, N. Sami, B. Zhang)
  • Ancient and Modern Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West
  • Asian Cities: Colonial to Global
  • The Shanghai Alleyway House: A Vanishing Urban Vernacular
  • Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou

Books (popular)

  • London: A Walking Tour
  • Cork Strolls (with Audrey Bracken)
  • Singapore: A Walking Tour
  • Colour Dublin (with Audrey Bracken)
  • Ahmedabad: A Walking Tour (with Matthijs van Oostrum)
  • Bangkok: A Walking Tour
  • Dublin Strolls (with Audrey Bracken)
  • Kuala Lumpur: A Walking Tour (with Audrey Southgate)
  • Hong Kong: A Walking Tour
  • Paris: A Walking Tour
  • Angkor: Sketches of an Ancient City
  • Shanghai: A Walking Tour





1.2 million Marie Curie Actions ‘International Research Staff Exchange Scheme’ (IRSES) funded by the European Union’s Research Executive Agency’s Seventh Framework Programme. This grant enabled the foundation of the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden (2012 to present).

Thomas Dammon Scholarship: study trip to Vienna to study the work of Otto Wagner (1991).

Thomas Dammon Scholarship: study trip to Finland to study the work of Alvar Aalto (1990).

Kildare County Council Vocational Education Committee (VEC) full scholarship for a B.Sc.Arch. at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Bolton Street (1986-1992).

Royal College of Music, Dublin: under-17 piano scholarship (1983-1985).


Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA)

Headed by the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) was begun thanks to Marie Curie Actions, whose initial grant of €1.2 million enabled the establishment of an International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) which began in 2012. It now consists of more than 120 researchers from institutes across Asia, Europe and the United States and represents the largest global academic network of its kind on Asian cities. One of the Network’s key objectives is to nurture contextualised and policy-relevant knowledge on Asian cities. It seeks to influence policies by contributing insights that focus on ‘human flourishing’ in Asian cities and places people at the centre of urban governance and development strategies. The emphasis on problem solving and the identification of long-term, transformative processes aims at increasing the scope for people’s active engagement in the creative production and shaping of cities in Asia.


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