Researchers at UCD


Karen Foley


School Of Architecture
Richview Newstead Block B
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7163246




Association: IFLA Europe (formerly EFLA), Function/Role: Vice President Education
Association: UCD Press Editorial Board, Function/Role:
Association: European Foundation of landscape Architecture (EFLA), Function/Role: Irish Representative to EFLA Member of Educational Sub Committee
Association: Irish Landscape Institute, Function/Role: Council member 1994-1996 Secretary 1998 -2000 Member of Education Sub Committee 1994- to date

Conference Contributions

Karen Foley; (2005) Managing the Changing Rural Landscape in Ireland. [Chaired Session], ECLAS Conference Landscape Change, Ankara , 14-NOV-05 - 18-NOV-06.
Foley, K. and and Seymour, B.; (2006) Dublin: City in an altered State. [Chaired Session], ECLAS Conference: Cultural Dimensions of Urban Landscape, Bratislava , 21-SEP-06 - 24-NOV-07.
Foley, K. and Scott, M. ; (2006) Agricultural transformation and the visual of impact of change: past trends and future prospects, the case of Ireland. [International Refereed Conference], RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London , 31-AUG-06 - 01-SEP-06.
Foley, K; (2007) Establishing a methodology to determine attitudes towards the appearance of settlements in the rural landscape. [Chaired Session], First International Conference on the Geography of Europe (EUGEO), Amsterdam , 20-AUG-07 - 23-AUG-07.
Foley, K.; (2009) Attitudes to agricultural landscapes: a study of different stakeholders¿ preferences to change in the Irish countryside. [Chaired Session], Eucaland Conference, Cambridge , 22-SEP-09 - 23-SEP-09.
Foley, K.; (2010) Tourism and the changing Irish landscape. [Chaired Session], International Congress of the French Society for Irish Studies (SOFEIR), Nantes , 12-MAR-10 - 13-NOV-10.
Foley, K; (2011) The challenge of research in landscape architecture. [Invited Lecture], 10 anos de Arquitectura Paisagista na Universidade do Porto, Porto, Porto, Portugal , 29-SEP-11 - 30-SEP-11.
Foley, K; (2012) A living landscape? Attitudes towards the appearance of houses in the countryside. [Invited Lecture], Boom to Bust: Tracking Ireland's Environment, Killarney, Ireland , 21-JUN-12 - 21-JUN-12.
Foley, Karen (2013) Landscape preference: where do I stand? An exploration of formalist and objectivist attitudes to landscape. [Oral Presentation], ECLAS Conference 'Specifics', Hamburg, Germany , 22-SEP-13 - 25-SEP-13.
Atmanagara, J; Crowe, P; Foley, K; Jessen, J; (2013) Municipalities and resilience: Strategic governance and building community capital in an uncertain future. [Oral Presentation], Regional Development, Spatial Planning and Strategic Governance, Belgrade, Serbia , 22-MAY-13 - 25-MAY-13.
Crowe, P; Foley, K; (2013) The Turas project: Integrating social-ecological resilience and urban planning. [Oral Presentation], Joint AESOP/ACSP Congress Dublin: Planning for resilient Ccties and regions, Dublin , 15-JUL-13 - 19-JUL-13.
Foley, K; (2013) Urban Resilience Through Sustainable Development: The Turas Project. [Invited Oral Presentation], Base London Fringe, University of East London , 11-JUL-13 - 17-JUL-13.
Crowe, P., Foley, K. (2014) Vacant Sites Mapping: Motivation, process and use. [Oral Presentation], 2nd International Conference on Urban Sustainability and Resilience (USAR), London , 03-NOV-14 - 05-NOV-14.
Foley, K. (2014) Resilience and the challenge of social resistance to landscape transformation. [Refereed Abstracts], RESILIENCE 2014: Resilience and Development: Mobilizing for Transformation, Montpelier, France , 04-MAY-14 - 08-MAY-14.
Foley, K. (2014) The woods and the trees: urban forestry and landscape aesthetics. [Published Abstract], 3rd Annual AIARG Conference :Emerging Research Conference,, Belfast , 23-JAN-14 - 25-JAN-14.


Committee : Member of RESEARCH INTO TEACHING - TEACHING INTO RESEARCH committee of the LE:NOTRE EU thematic network on landscape architecture


Year 2010 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1982 Institution: University of Sheffield
Qualification: MA Subject:
Year 1979 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: BAgrSc Subject:



Peer Reviewed Journals

Collier, M., Nedović-Budić, Z., Aerts, J., Connop, S., Foley, D., Foley, K., Newport, D., McQuaid, S., Slaev, A., Verburg, P. (2013) 'Transitioning to resilience and sustainability in urban communities'. Cities, . [DOI] [Details]
Scott, M., Bullock, C. and Foley, K. (2013) 'Design Matters, Understanding Professional, Community and Consumer Preferences for the Design of Rural Housing in the Irish Landscape'. Town Planning Review, 84 (3). [Details]
Foley, K. & Scott, M. (2012) 'Accommodating new housing in rural areas? Representations of landscape, land and rurality in Ireland'. Landscape Research, . [DOI] [Details]
Scott, M., Bullock, C. & Foley, K. (2012) ''Design matters': understanding professional, community and consumer preferences for the design of rural housing in the Irish landscape'. Town Planning Review, 84 (3):337-370. [Details]
Foley, K.; (2001) 'Searching the Scape'. Journal of the Landscape Institute, 302 :40-42. [Details]
Bagnall. D. and K. Foley K; (2000) 'Oh I do love to be beside the seaside'. The Journal of the Irish Aquaculture Association, 92 :54-55. [Details]

Other Journals

Foley, K. and Foley D.; (2008) 'Project Profile. Grand Canal Square, Dublin: The Professionals' view' Landscape 46 :19-24. [Details]

Conference Publications

Foley, Karen; Lennon, M. (2014) Repositioning Landscape Architecture: Can Green Infrastructure (GI) support the profession¿s evolution? . In: Martinho da Silva, I., Portela Marques, T., and Andrade, G eds. Landscape: A Place of Cultivation Porto Portugal, , 21-SEP-14 - 23-SEP-14 , pp.92-95 [Details]
Foley, Karen (2014) Understanding Site History: Developing a Timeline Tool to Promote Community Resilience as Part of the TURAS Project . In: Martinho da Silva, I., Portela Marques, T., and Andrade, G eds. Landscape: A Place of Cultivation Porto, Portugal, , 21-SEP-14 - 23-SEP-14 , pp.76-78 [Details]
Foley, K. and Collier, M.J.; (2008) Developing public participation techniques for determining stakeholder attitudes towards environmental issues: the use of focus groups Landscape Identities and Development, Lisbon and Óbidos, Portugal, 1st-5th September, 2008 [Details]
Foley, K (2011) The challenge of research in landscape architecture 10 anos de Arquitectura Paisagista na Universidade do Porto [Details]
Foley, K. (2011) The tourist as stakeholder: the attitudes of different nationalities to new residential settlement in the Irish rural landscape ECLAS 2011 Ethics and Aesthetics, Sheffield, England [Details]
Foley, Karen (2013) Landscape preference: where do I stand? An exploration of formalist and objectivist attitudes to landscape ECLAS Conference 'Specifics' [Details]
Foley, K.; (2005) Managing the Changing Rural Landscape in Ireland ECLAS Conference Landscape Change Ankara, Turkey, , 14-SEP-05 - 18-SEP-05 [Details]
Foley, K. & Scott, M.; (2005) Agricultural transformation and the visual impact of change: past trends and future prospect, the case of Ireland Flows and Spaces in a Globalized World - Royal Geographical society with IBG - Annual International Conference London, , 31-AUG-05 - 03-SEP-05 [Details]

Published Reports

Brereton, F, Brophy, V, Bullock, C, Clinch JP, Foley, K, Gilbert, D, Gkartzios, M, Kinsella, J, Norris, M, O'Connor, D, O'Daly, G, Redemond, D, Russell, P Scott, M and Winston, Nark Scott and Nessa Winston; (2010) Sustainable Rural Development: Managing Housing in the Countryside: Final STRIVE Report (2005-SD-MS-41-M)). EPA, Dublin, Ireland. [Details]


Fitzgerald D and K. Foley; (2001) A Vision for Clonakilty: The Sustainable Development of Clonakiltys Urban, Landscape and Water Resources. . Reports [Details]
Hill M, J. Briggs, P. Minto, D. Bagnall, K. Foley and A. Williams; (2001) Guide to Best Practice in Seascape Assessment. Maritime Ireland / Wales. Reports [Details]
Foley, K.; (2009) Rural Housing and Landscape Preferences. Wexford: Reports [Details]
Foley, K., Gilbert, D. and Scott, M; (2009) Rural Settlement Trends and Patterns Part 2: Micro Level Changes. Wexford: Reports [Details]


Research Interests

Research Interests:

While Karen's early research work looked at developing landscape assessment methodologies as effective research interests lie in the area of landscape change, landscape preference, stakeholder engagement and urban resilience.planning tools, she later focussed on the vernacular Irish landscape, examining landscape preference, drivers of landscape change and exploring scenario-based tools to engage with a range of stakeholders. More recent research centres on urban open space, identifying tools and techniques to develop robust multifunctional landscape typologies in cities that satisfy social and environmental needs. Specifically she is working in the area of green infrastructure, urban forestry and transitory open space.

Research Projects:

Karen is one of the lead instigators of ¿Turas¿, a EU funded research project bringing together urban communities and businesses along with local authorities and researchers to collaborate on practical new solutions for more sustainable and resilient European cities. This is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (See and received an ¿Ireland¿s Champions of EU Research¿ award in June 2012.  Within this project she is leading a Work Package studying urban/industrial regeneration, land-use planning and creative design with specific focus in assessing the sustainable re-use use of buildings on vacant sites, examining the socio-economic implications of clearing sites and identifying the various ecosystem services that re-used sites may have.


Previous funded research work has included the co-ordination of a joint Welsh/Irish INTERREG research project with Brady Shipman Martin (Dublin) and the Countryside Council for Wales. This study developed a methodology for seascape assessment in order to integrate the issues of landscape/seascape conservation into the development process. This work was set against the background of increasing development pressure along the coastline with the development of offshore wind farms and mariculture enterprises. The resulting 2001 publication ¿Guide to best practice in Seascape Assessment¿ for the Marine Institute remains a key reference for professionals working in the area of landscape planning and coastal zone management.

Karen formed part of a multidisciplinary UCD research team funded under the EPA (STRIVE) Programme 2007¿2013 (PI Dr Mark Scott). This project, ¿Sustainable Rural Development: Managing Housing in the Countryside¿ had nine research actions, with Karen responsible for two actions;  

¿ Examining the nature of dispersed rural settlement trends and pattern

¿ An assessment of rural housing and landscape preference.


Currently Karen is:

1 An external scientific reviewer in the area of Landscape Architecture, for the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the public research funding agency which selects and distributes research funds in Portugal.

2 Working on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded project Integrating ecosystem approaches, green infrastructure and spatial planning (ECO-Plan) leading a work package auditing existing national practice. (PI Dr Mark Scott).

3. Irish representative on  ¿COST FP1204: Green Infrastructure approach: linking environmental with social aspects in studying and managing urban forests¿.

Research Projects

Sponsor : Marine Institute
Title : Seascapes - developing a method of seascape assessment
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-99 / 31-MAR-01
Sponsor : Cork County Council
Title : A Feasibility study for an integrated action plan for the sustainable development of Clonakilty's urban landscape and water resources
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-01 / 01-JUL-01
Sponsor : UCD Urban Institute of Ireland
Title : Research Development Grant Scheme
Start Date / End Date : 20-SEP-06 / 20-SEP-08
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Green Cities - Innovative transition strategies to help cities reduce their urban ecological footprint
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-10 / 31-DEC-10
Sponsor : EC Framework (FP7)
Title : TURas Transitioning Towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-11 / 30-SEP-16
Sponsor : Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Title : Enhancing biodiversity potential of urban parks through improved management and public engagement
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-13 / 30-APR-18
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Resilience and the challenge of social resistance to landscape transformation
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-14 / 30-SEP-15
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Landscape Research and Development grant
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-14 / 01-OCT-15

Current Postgraduate Students

Maryann Harris, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Secondary Supervisor
Philip Crowe, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Primary Advisor
Jinxuan Wang, Architectural Science(MArchSc)   -   Thesis Supervisor



Modules Coordinated

201400   LARC40340     Landscape Architecture: Thesis Preparation
201400   LARC10080     Landscape Architecture: Landscape History
201400   LARC10100     Landscape Architecture: Understanding Landscape II
201400   LARC10110     Landscape Architecture: Understanding Landscape I
201400   LARC20160     Landscape Architecture: Landscape Studio 2B
201400   LARC30120     Landscape Architecture: Landscape Studio 3B