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Dr. Cian O'Callaghan
Assistant Professor, Geography


I am an Assistant Professor in Urban Geography with the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. I joined the Geography Department in 2016.

Prior to joining Trinity, I worked at Maynooth University between 2008 and 2016. At Maynooth I held the positions of Lecturer in Geography and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA). I hold a PhD from University College Cork (2009).

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Housing and Vacancy in, editor(s)Sirr, Lorcan , Housing in Ireland: Beyond the Markets, Dublin, Institute of Public Administration, 2022, [O'Callaghan, Cian; Stokes, Kathleen] Book Chapter, 2022

No Soft Landing for the Suburbs: Credit, Debt and the fracturing of the Suburban Dream in Ireland in, editor(s)Anaker, K and Maginn, P. , What's Wrong with Suburbia: From Dreamscapes to Nightmares, London, Advances in Sociology Series, Routledge. , 2022, [Redmond, D and O'Callaghan, C] Book Chapter, 2022

O'Callaghan, C; Di Feliciantonio, C , The New Urban Ruins: Vacancy, urban politics, and international experiments in the post-crisis city, Bristol, Policy Press, 2021 Book, 2021

Postpolitics and Post-Truth in, 2020, [O'Callaghan, C] Book Chapter, 2020 DOI

O'Callaghan C, and McGuirk, PM , Situating financialisation in the geographies of neoliberal housing restructuring: reflections from Ireland and Australia, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 2020 Journal Article, 2020

Di Feliciantonnio, C, O'Callaghan, C, Struggles over property in the 'post-political' era: Notes on the political from Rome and Dublin, Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Streamers (Spotify) in, editor(s)Graham, M., Kitchin, R., Mattern, S. and Shaw, J. (eds) , How to Run a City Like a Company and Other Fables, Oxford, Meatspace Press, 2019, pp955 - 1034, [O'Callaghan, C] Book Chapter, 2019

O'Callaghan, Cian, Promises of the Political: Insurgent Cities in a Post Political Environment, Housing, Theory and Society, 2019 Review, 2019 DOI

The relational articulation of housing crisis and activism in post-crash Dublin, Ireland in, editor(s)Gray, N , A Century of Housing Struggles: From the 1915 Rent Strikes to Contemporary Housing Activisms, Boulder, Roman and Littefield, 2018, [Hearne, R. O'Callaghan, C., Di Feliciantonio, C., Kitchin, R.] Book Chapter, 2018

O'Callaghan, C., Di Feiciantonio, C., Byrne, M. , Governing vacancy in post-crash Dublin: Contested property and alternative social projects, Urban Geography, 39, (6), 2018, p868 - 891. Journal Article, 2018

O'Callaghan, C., Planetary urbanization in ruins: Provisional theory and Ireland's crisis, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 2018 Journal Article, 2018 URL

Gilmartin, M; Wood, P.B., O'Callaghan, C., Borders, mobility and belonging in the era of Brexit and Trump, Policy Press, 2018 Book, 2018

Corcoran, M. P., Kettle, P. C., & O'Callaghan, C. , Green shoots in vacant plots? Urban agriculture and austerity in post-crash Ireland., ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geography, 16, (2), 2017, p305 - 331 Journal Article, 2017 URL TARA - Full Text

O'Callaghan, C. and Lawton, P., Temporary solutions? Vacant space policy and strategies for re-use in Dublin, Irish Geography, 48, (1), 2016, p69 - 87 Journal Article, 2016 TARA - Full Text URL

Housing in, editor(s)Roche, W.K., O'Connell, J, Prothero, A , Austerity and Recovery in Ireland: Europe's Poster Child and the Great Recession, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp272 - 289, [Kitchin, R., Hearne, R., O'Callaghan, C.] Book Chapter, 2016 TARA - Full Text

Rickards, L., Gleeson, B., Boyle, M., & O'Callaghan, C., Urban studies after the age of the city, Urban Studies, 53, (8), 2016, p1523 - 1541 Journal Article, 2016 URL

Urban Studies, 58, 8, (2016), Rickards, L., Gleeson, B., Boyle, M., & O'Callaghan, C. , [eds.] Journal, 2016

O'Callaghan, C., Kelly, S., Boyle, M., & Kitchin, R. , Topologies and topographies of Ireland's neoliberal crisis, Space and Polity, 19, (1), 2015, p31 - 46 Journal Article, 2015 URL

O'Callaghan, C, Boyle, M, Kitchin, R , Post-politics, crisis, and Ireland's 'ghost estates', Political Geography, 42, 2014, p121 - 133 Journal Article, 2014 URL

Spatial justice and housing in Ireland in, editor(s)Kearns, G, Morrissey, J, Meredith, D. , Spatial justice and the Irish crisis, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 2014, pp57 - 77, [Hearne, R., Kitchin, R., O'Callaghan, C.] Book Chapter, 2014

Kitchin, R, O'Callaghan, C, Gleeson, J, The new ruins of Ireland? Unfinished estates in the post-Celtic Tiger era, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38, (3), 2014, p1069 - 1080 Journal Article, 2014 URL

Kitchin, R, Linehan, D, O'Callaghan, C, Lawton, P, The creation and circulation of public geographies, Dialogues in Human Geography, 3, (1), 2014, p96 - 102 Journal Article, 2014 URL

Kitchin, R, Linehan, D, O'Callaghan, C, Lawton, P, Public geography through social media, Dialogues in Human Geography, 3, (1), 2014, p56 - 72 Journal Article, 2014 URL

Ghost Estates: Spaces and spectres of Ireland after NAMA in, editor(s)Crowley, C and Linehan, D , Spacing Ireland: Place, society and culture in a post boom era, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2013, pp17 - 31, [O'Callaghan, C.] Book Chapter, 2013

O'Callaghan, C., Lightness and weight: (re)reading urban potentialities through photographs, Area, 44, (2), 2012, p200 - 207 Journal Article, 2012 TARA - Full Text URL

Sustaining Communities: Being in/between place in the neoliberal era, Special Issue of GeoJournal, 77, 2, (2012), Corcoran, M.P., Fuller, W, O'Callaghan, C , [eds.] Journal, 2012

O'Callaghan, C., Corcoran, M.P., Fuller, W., Sustaining communities: Setting the agenda, GeoJournal, 77, (2), 2012, p135-140 Journal Article, 2012

O'Callaghan, C., Urban anxieties and creative tensions in the European Capital of Culture 2005: 'It couldn't just be about Cork, like', International Journal of Cultural Policy, 18, (2), 2012, p185-204 Journal Article, 2012

O'Callaghan, C., Contrapuntal urbanisms: Towards a postcolonial relational geography, Environment and Planning A, 44, (8), 2012, p1930 - 1950 Journal Article, 2012 URL

Kitchin, R, O'Callaghan, C, Boyle, M., Gleeson, J, Keaveney, K, Placing neoliberalism: The rise and fall of Ireland's Celtic Tiger, Environment and Planning A, 44, (6), 2012, p1302 - 1326 Journal Article, 2012 URL

O'Callaghan, C, Book review, Review of Whose Urban Renaissance? An international comparison of urban regeneration strategies. 2009. Oxon, UK and New York, NY: Routledge. 291pp, by Potter, L. and Shaw, K., editors , Progress in Human Geography, 35, (3), 2011, p434-435 Review, 2011

O'Callaghan, C., Let's Audit Bohemia: A Review of Richard Florida's 'Creative Class' Thesis and Its Impact on Urban Policy, Geography Compass, 4, (11), 2010, p1606-1617 Journal Article, 2010

O'Callaghan, C., Linehan, D., Identity, politics and conflict in dockland development in Cork, Ireland: European Capital of Culture 2005, Cities, 24, (4), 2007, p311-323 Journal Article, 2007 URL

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Kathleen Stokes and Cian O'Callaghan, Taking stock of Dublin's vacant sites and properties: A review of existing policies and measures, Trinity College Dublin, 2021 Report, 2021 TARA - Full Text

Xavier Le Den, Samy Porteron, Elisa Colaiacomo, Henning Thoms, Maurizio Carta, Daniele Ronsivalle, Barbara Lino, Niamh Moore-Cherry, Aoife Delaney, Eoin O'Mahony, Cian O'Callaghan , ENSURE (European Sustainable Urbanisation through port city Regeneration Final Report, Luxembourg, 2020 Report, 2020

Niamh Moore-Cherry, Aoife Delaney, Eoin O'Mahony and Cian O'Callaghan, ENSURE (European Sustainable Urbanisation through port city Regeneration Annex 4.4 Case Study Report:Cork City (IE), Luxembourg, 2020 Report, 2020 URL

O'Callaghan, C, Crisis ruins and their resolution: Ireland's property bubble ten years on, Working Notes, 82, 2019, p6-12 Journal Article, 2019

O'Callaghan, C. and Gilmartin, M, Ireland: Borders and borderlines, Soundings: A journal of politics and culture, 64, 2016, p64 - 70 Journal Article, 2016 URL

Hague, C, Ursa, J, Crawford, J, Wojnar, K, Biot, V, Nielson, M, Cassiers, T, Mladenov, M, Kyvelou, S, Walsh, C, O'Callaghan, C, Daly, G, Prezioso, M, D'Orazio, Groza, O, Stoleriu, O, Bartol, B , ESPON - INTERSTRAT: ESPON in integrated territorial strategies. Final Report Version , 2012 Report, 2012

O'Callaghan, C., Haunted Landscapes (Introduction to 'Settlement' by Anthony Haughey), Source: The Photography Review, 65, 2011, p33 - 33 Journal Article, 2011 URL

Kitchin, R, Gleeson, J, Keaveney, K, O'Callaghan, C, A Haunted Landscape: Housing and Ghost Estates in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, NIRSA working paper No. 59, 2010 Journal Article, 2010 URL

Curran, D, O Callaghan, C, Ancien, D, Van Egeraat, C, McCafferty, D, Gleeson, J, Bartley, B , 'Dublin Case Study'. In: Harding et al. (2010) The Case for Agglomeration Economies in Europe (CAEE), ESPON Final Report, Luxembourg, 2010 Report, 2010

O'Callaghan, C., Just Add Water: (re)producing Cork docklands, Progress in Irish Urban Studies, 3, 2007, p13 - 24 Journal Article, 2007 TARA - Full Text

O'Callaghan, C., Dressing for Success: the waterfront image of Cork and Limerick, 2007 Working Paper, 2007 TARA - Full Text

O'Callaghan, C., 'space paint': art and heritage in Cork Docklands regeneration, Chimera UCC Geographical Journal, 20, 2005, p94 - 102 Journal Article, 2005

O'Callaghan, C., Imaging the Homeless in the Irish Free State, Chimera UCC Geographical Journal, 19, 2004, p37 - 43 Journal Article, 2004

Research Expertise


I am an urban geographer with expertise political economy, creativity and place, neoliberalism, housing and urban vacancy. My research is theoretical and empirical, addressing key questions relating to housing justice, urbanisation, and the reuse of urban vacant spaces. I have a research specialisation in critical studies of ruination and urban vacancy. I have published two books as well as articles in international journals including Urban Geography, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, and Political Geography. I have edited special issues of Urban Studies and Geojournal, published policy reports, book chapters, and numerous short articles (e.g. The Conversation, Soundings). I have won three IRC research grants, most recently an IRC Coalesce Scheme (2019-2021) focusing on innovative solutions to urban vacancy. I currently supervise three PhD students and I am open to discussing proposals from prospective students working in my research areas.


  • Title
    • Rethinking urban vacancy: : Addressing the challenge of underutilised land through innovative policy solutions
  • Summary
    • This project aims to contribute to academic knowledge and inform policy decisions on urban vacancy by filling significant knowledge gaps in two key research questions: i)How is urban vacancy categorised and measured in the Irish contest, and how could new forms of measurement lead to more effective policy solutions? ii)What are the underlying structural and contextual factors that contribute to the production of vacancy in its different forms?
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • April 2019
  • Date To
    • October 2021
  • Title
    • Co-living and the housing crisis: a comparative critical analysis
  • Summary
    • A comparative analysis of co-living housing in Dublin, Ireland and Sydney, Australia.
  • Funding Agency
    • University of Wollongong
  • Date From
    • 2020
  • Date To
    • 2021
  • Title
    • ESPON Ensure (European Sustainable Urbanisation through port city Regeneration)
  • Summary
    • ENSURE (European Sustainable Urbanisation through port city Regeneration) is a targeted analysis aimed at providing better insights into the potential regional impacts of port city regeneration and a better understanding of the appropriate methods and tools. The research involved a comprehensive literature review, a pan-European desktop analysis of port city regeneration in small and medium-sized cities and in-depth case studies in four stakeholder cities (Aalborg, Brest, Catania, and Cork), as well as a series of workshops and conferences.
  • Funding Agency
    • ESPON
  • Date From
    • 01 December 2018
  • Date To
    • 01 December 2019
  • Title
    • Alternate urbanisms: an international comparative study
  • Summary
    • This project explores issues of housing crises and alternatives in Dublin, Ireland and Sydney, Australia.
  • Funding Agency
    • University of Wollongong
  • Date From
    • 2018
  • Date To
    • 2018
  • Title
    • The new urban ruins: Vacancy and the post-crisis city
  • Summary
    • The project aims at exploring contestations over the reuse of vacant spaces in Dublin. The central hypothesis is that vacant space will play a key role in determining how cities of the future respond to the both urban problems and wider global challenges. The project explores how geographically-specific responses to, and contestations over, vacancy may lead to either the continuation of the financial model of urban development or to more socially progressive cities. The project focuses primarily on Dublin, with smaller comparative case-studies in Berlin and Barcelona.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • 2015
  • Date To
    • 2017
  • Title
    • Memories of the everyday present: Haunting, absence, and the spectral performance of everyday life on the Irish 'ghost estate'
  • Summary
    • This project explores how ghost estates have been used in media and political debates to represent the Celtic Tiger crash, to highlight from a policy perspective some of the problems that are posed by the estates, and to explore changing Irish identity through the point of view of residents living on them.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • 2011
  • Date To
    • 2013
  • Title
    • Capital and Culture: Regenerating the city and staging the arts in postindustrial Cork
  • Summary
    • Drawing upon a theoretical approach combining poststructural critiques of discourse analysis, Lefebvre's theories on the production of space, and recent debates on relationality, this project explored the impacts of contemporary urban and cultural transformation on the Irish cities of Cork and Limerick through the plans to redevelop their urban waterfront and Cork's hosting of the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) in 2005. Situating Cork (and drawing comparatively on Limerick at points) within a relational interface between 'global' and 'local' forces and material and immaterial processes, the project traced the ways in which new urban imaginaries were constructed through strategic interventions, and how these became spatialised through complex processes of property development, culture-led regeneration, and contestation. The thesis takes the two nodal points of the plans to redevelop the docklands and the (ECOC) event to explore the complex and contrapuntal ways in which the city is reproduced. Basing its findings upon extensive discourse analysis and semi-structured interviews carried out between 2004 and 2008, the project presents a nuanced picture of urban transformation in Cork; one that is relational, contrapuntal, and contingent on a plethora of processes and forces that produce the city in a way that is open, not closed.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • 2004
  • Date To
    • 2007


Cultural Geography; DUBLIN; Economic Geography; experimental urbanism; HOUSING; human geography; IRISH HOUSING SYSTEM; Political Geography; URBAN; Urban Geography; Urban Planning/Policy; Urban Studies



External examiner, Rachel McArdle, PhD programme Geography Department, Maynooth University 2019

Chair of 2021 Conference of Ireland Geographers (postponed from 2020) 2019

External examiner, Joanne Ahern, PhD programme in Urban Studies, Gran Sasso Science Institute, l'Aquila, Italy. 2017

Honorary President, TCD Geography Society 2017

International review board, Aigne: An online postgraduate journal of arts, Celtic studies and social sciences 2011-

Administrator, Ireland after NAMA, public geographies blog 2010-

Awards and Honours

Elected to Fellowship of Trinity College Dublin 2022

Provost Excellence in Teaching Award (shortlisted, delayed due to Covid) 2020

Appointed as Chair of the 2020 Conference of Irish Geographers (posponded to 2021) 2019

Invited talk: URbANIsM: European regeneration experiences between growth and crisis, Polytechnic University Turin, Italy, 04 February 2019

Invited talk: Rent and its Discontents, University of Glasgow 22 January 2019

Nomination as Honorary President of the Dublin University Geographical Society for 2017/18 2017

Invited talk: ACCESS, University of Wollongong, NSW Australia, 1 August 2018

Invited talk: Research Group on Urban Governance, Commons, Internet and Social Innovation (URGOCIS), Universistat Autonoma de Barcelona, presented to the, 19 April 2018

Invited talk: panel "Critical urban theory in the 'urban age': Voices from another planet" convened by Dr. Natalie Oswin and Prof. Geraldine Pratt at the Association of American Geographers conference 5-7 April 2017

Invited talk: "Rethinking Urban Theory Through the Analytical Lens of Planetary Urbanization" workshop, York University Toronto, 3-4 April 2017

Recommended for Accelerated Advancement above the Merit Bar following the Junior Academic Progressions Call 2017

Invited talk: International Lecture of Economic Geography at Bonn University 08 June 2016

Appointed as international collaborator on AGORA project (based on IGOT Lisbon University) 2016

Invited to participate as international collaborator in "Between Development and Debt in the Massive Suburbia of Toronto and Istanbul" grant proposal to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) led by Prof. Roger Keil 2016

Appointed as international collaborator on AGORA project (based in IGOT Lisbon University) 2016

Trinity College New Lecturers Start-up Grant (€10,000) 2016

IRC New Horizons Project Grant - Title: The new urban ruins: Vacancy and the post-crisis city (€100,000) 2015-2017

The University of Newcastle Australia Early Career Researcher (ECR) Visiting Fellowship (AU$5,000) 2012

IRC (formerly IRCHSS) Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship - Title: Memories of the everyday present: Haunting, absence, and the spectral performance of everyday life on the Irish 'ghost estate' (€78,756) 2011-2013

IRC (formerly IRCHSS) Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship - Title: Capital and Culture: Regenerating the city and staging the arts in postindustrial Cork (€ 25,200) 2004-2007

College Scholar University College Cork 2004

UCC Geography PhD bursary (€10,000) 2003

College Scholar University College Cork 2003


Geographical Society of Ireland 2013 – Present

Association of American Geographers 2009 – Present