Research Profile

Karen Ray

Biography

BA MPlan PhD MIPI MILI

Dr Karen Ray is a qualified planner and specialist in landscape management, planning and assessment. Following on from a B.A. in English and Geography from UCC, she became a graduate of the foundation MPlan programme in 2008 and has since worked in both academic and professional practice. After completing the first doctoral degree in Planning and Sustainable Development at UCC, she worked as a planning and landscape/environmental consultant in the multi-disciplinary built environment firm Brady Shipman Martin, coordinating large-scale projects for public and private sectors.

Throughout the years, Karen has been involved in a wide range of projects throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland, from strategic contexts to detailed design, including: renewable/bio energy; major flood defence; forestry; mineral extraction wildlife/nature appraisal; cultural/built heritage appraisal; and tourism and recreation. Before leaving the private sector at the end of 2017 she was project coordinator for national guidance documents on landscape character and visual assessment for linear transport infrastructure commissioned by Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

Since 2011 Karen has contributed to lecturing for the MPlan programme, mainly as course coordinator for module PD6210: Landscape Character, Context and Change, and in the development of a new MA in Landscape, Built Heritage and Design. She has also contributed to lecturing/field weeks within the Department of Geography, UCC. Her teaching and research interests broadly relate to decision-making for landscape and environment; landscape/place values; natural resources (incl. renewable energy); planning in coastal environments; conflict and power relations; communication and observation skills. Karen holds corporate membership of both the Irish Planning Institute and the Irish Landscape Institute.

Karen is also very involved with the wider UCC community through The UCC Players staff performance group, directing, producing, writing and acting within popular and successful productions on campus and around Cork.   

Research Interests

Research interests mainly relate to planning for wider landscape, landscape and visual assessment, environmental management and assessment; landscape/place values; natural resource management (incl. renewable energy); natural heritage management, planning in coastal environments; conflict and power relations in the planning arena. 

Publications

Book Chapters

 YearPublication
(2020)'Planning for Ireland’s Islands: A Matter of Perspective'
Ray, K. & O' Sullivan, B. (2020) 'Planning for Ireland’s Islands: A Matter of Perspective' In: Shorelines: A Coastal Atlas of Ireland. Cork: Cork University Press. [Details]
(2011)'The metropolitan cork green belt: Synergies and tensions between strategic and local understandings of landscape value'
O’Sullivan B.;Ray K. (2011) 'The metropolitan cork green belt: Synergies and tensions between strategic and local understandings of landscape value' In: Irish Contemporary Landscapes in Literature and the Arts. London: Palgrave Macmillan.   [DOI] [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2014)'Scale, Governance, Urban Form and Landscape: Exploring the Scope for an Integrated Approach to Metropolitan Spatial Planning'
O'Sullivan B.;Brady W.;Ray K.;Sikora E.;Murphy E. (2014) 'Scale, Governance, Urban Form and Landscape: Exploring the Scope for an Integrated Approach to Metropolitan Spatial Planning'. Planning Practice & Research, 29 (3):302-316 [DOI] [Details]

Conference Publications

 YearPublication
(2016)Landscape Values: Place and Praxis
Ray, K. (2016) Landscape and Planning: Exploring the Relationship in the Decision-Making Process Landscape Values: Place and Praxis   [Details]
(2013)Landscape & Imagination
Ray, K. (2013) Where a European Convention meets a European Directive: challenges for landscape management and practice . In: (Also one of three language editors) eds. Landscape & Imagination   [Details]
(2012)UK and Ireland Planning Conference
O' Sullivan, B. & Ray, K. (2012) Implementing a National Landscape Strategy: challenges for the statutory planning system’ UK and Ireland Planning Conference [Details]

Published Reports

 YearPublication
(2019)Rathcormac and Surroundings: A Strategy for Development.
Brady, W., Fitzsimons J., O’Sullivan, B. & Ray, K. (2019) Rathcormac and Surroundings: A Strategy for Development. Centre for Planning Education and Research, UCC, Cork. [Details]
(2014)The Rothschild Reserves in Ireland, 1914-2014: An Investigation into the Natural Heritage of the Republic of Ireland.
Ray, K., Sikora, E. and Counsell, D (2014) The Rothschild Reserves in Ireland, 1914-2014: An Investigation into the Natural Heritage of the Republic of Ireland. The Widllife Trusts, Newark, UK. [Details]

Blog

 YearPublication
(2013)Off the Beaten Track: Explorations of 'Ordinary' Landscapes (Guest Essay for blog by Herda, G. 'The Conscious Commute').
Ray, K. (2013) Off the Beaten Track: Explorations of 'Ordinary' Landscapes (Guest Essay for blog by Herda, G. 'The Conscious Commute'). Blog   [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2020AESOP Prize for Excellence in Teaching - Second Place/Highly Commended Association of European Schools of Planning

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Irish Planning Institute Corporate Member/
Irish Landscape Institute Corporate Member/

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2019)Irish Planning Institute Conference: Tackling Environmental Impact Assessment Reports and Appropriate Assessment,
Ray, K. (2019) Engaging with Environmental Impact Assessment: Critical Reflections for Decision-Makers. [Invited Oral Presentation], Irish Planning Institute Conference: Tackling Environmental Impact Assessment Reports and Appropriate Assessment, University College Cork . [Details]
(2019)Law & the Environment 2019: 17th Annual Conference,
Ray, K. (2019) The Role of Environmental Law in the Transition to Sustainability. [Chair Sessions at Symposia], Law & the Environment 2019: 17th Annual Conference, UCC . [Details]
(2017)Conference of Irish Geographers: Disruptions and Transgressions,
Ray, K. (2017) Beyond Beauty: Landscape Appraisal and Planning in Rural Environments. [Invited Oral Presentation], Conference of Irish Geographers: Disruptions and Transgressions, University College Cork . [Details]
(2016)National Landscape Forum: Making Good Decisions about Landscape,
Ray, K. (2016) Case Study: The Den Brook Wind Farm, Devon. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], National Landscape Forum: Making Good Decisions about Landscape, Landscape Alliance Ireland/ University College Cork . [Details]
(2016)Landscape Values: Place and Praxis,
Ray, K. (2016) Landscape and Planning: Exploring the Relationship in Decision-Making. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Landscape Values: Place and Praxis, NUIG . [Details]
(2016)National Landscape Forum: Making Good Decisions about Landscape,
Ray, K. (2016) Conflict and Power in Contested Landscapes. [Oral Presentation], National Landscape Forum: Making Good Decisions about Landscape, Landscape Alliance Ireland/ University College Cork . [Details]
(2013)Landscape and Imagination: Towards a New Baseline for Education in a Changing World,
Ray, K. (2013) Where a European Convention Meets a European Directive: challenges for landscape management and practice. [Oral Presentation], Landscape and Imagination: Towards a New Baseline for Education in a Changing World, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette, Paris . [Details]
(2012)Think Tank Day on the National Framework for Sustainable Development,
Ray, K. (2012) Contribution to document compliled in response to National Framework for Sustainable Development. [Invited Lectures (Workshops)], Think Tank Day on the National Framework for Sustainable Development, Cork County Council . [Details]
(2012)UK & Ireland Planning Conference: Building Communities: Transforming Neighbourhoods into Community Spaces,
Ray, K. (2012) Implementing a National Landscape Strategy: Challenges for the Statutory Planning System’. [Oral Presentation], UK & Ireland Planning Conference: Building Communities: Transforming Neighbourhoods into Community Spaces, University of Brighton . [Details]
(2011)Teaching and Learning for Graduate Studies,
Ray, K. (2011) The Visual/Verbal Balance in the Classroom Environment’. [Oral Presentation], Teaching and Learning for Graduate Studies, University College Cork . [Details]
(2010)Landscapes,
O' Sullivan, B. & Ray, K. (2010) The Metropolitan Cork Green Belt: synergies and tensions between strategic and local understandings of landscape value’. [Oral Presentation], Landscapes, Centre International des Langues, Université de Nantes . [Details]
(2009)Launch of the Cork and Kerry Placenames Survey,
Ray, K. (2009) Opening presentation. [Oral Presentation], Launch of the Cork and Kerry Placenames Survey, Kingsley Hotel, Cork . [Details]

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2016University College Cork DoctoratePlanning & Sustainable Development
2008University College Cork MastersPlanning & Sustainable Development
2006University College Cork BAEnglish & Geography

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

MPlan Modules Co-ordinated: 
PD6112  Skills 1 – Drawing, Communication & Observation
PD6213  Research Methods & Proposals in Planning
PD6120  Landscape Character, Context & Change
PD6205  Planning & Management of Natural Resources
PD6214  Research Paper
PD6215  Dissertation

Other Module Contributions:
PD6209  International Planning Systems & Approaches
PD6227  Planning and Landscape in Rural Environments 
GG3027  Regional and Local Planning Issues and Policies

Other Programme Contributions:
Programme co-ordinator for the MA in Landscape, Built Heritage and Design

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