Dr. Karen Ray


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 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 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 and place values; discourses around renewable energy; planning in coastal environments; day-to-day procedural processes; conflict and power relations in the planning arena; communication and observation skills.  

Karen holds corporate membership of both the Irish Planning Institute and the Irish Landscape Institute.

For further information about Dr Karen Ray's work. 



Centre for Planning Education & Research

UCC Connolly Complex Mardyke Parade Cork