Dr Mary Benson


TSI Building
2nd Fl
(01) 708 6572


Having completed my PhD in the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University in 2006, I joined the department as a lecturer in 2007. I have previously lectured in the Department of Adult and Community Education in Maynooth University and the Department of Planning in University College Dublin.

The title of my PhD was ‘The Transformation of Ringsend within the Context of Post-Industrial Growth in Dublin: Gentrification and its implications’. This thesis draws on detailed qualitative interviews with old-timers and newcomers in Ringsend, to develop a critical sociological analysis of the forces shaping community and place in the twenty-first Century urban neighbourhood.

My research interests lie in the field of urban sociology and include changing cityscapes; gentrification; public space; urban allotment gardens; place-making; cities and consumption; visual sociology.

I am currently teaching the following modules:

·         Fieldwork Methods (Third Year) 
·         Sociology of Consumption (Third Year) 
·         Special Topic Place Exploration (Third Year)
 ·         Urban Sociology (Second Year)

The Sociology of Everyday Life (First Year)

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2016 Drilling, M; Giedych, R; Ponizy, L; Benson, M; Bihunova, M; Mata, DD; Meeres, S; Oehler, P; Stepankova, R; Thomas, N; Weirich, M (2016) 'The idea of allotment gardens and the role of spatial and urban planning' In: URBAN ALLOTMENT GARDENS IN EUROPE. ABINGDON : ROUTLEDGE.
2016 Mary Benson and Susan Noori (2016) 'Urban allotment gardens: a case for place-making' In: Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe. Oxon : Routledge Earthscan.
2016 Noori, S; Benson, M; Gawryszewska, BJ; Hardman, M; Kasemets, K; Partalidou, M; Pikner, T; Willman, K (2016) 'Urban allotment garden A case for place-making' In: URBAN ALLOTMENT GARDENS IN EUROPE. ABINGDON : ROUTLEDGE.
2016 Caputo, S; Schwab, E; Tsiambaos, K; Benson, M; Bonnavaud, H; Demircan, N; Delshammar, T; Meireles, F; Moran, N; Pourias, J (2016) 'Emergent approaches to urban gardening' In: URBAN ALLOTMENT GARDENS IN EUROPE. ABINGDON : ROUTLEDGE.
2010 Mary Benson and Eoin Flaherty (2010) '‘Landscapes of Recession in Contemporary Ireland’' In: Ireland of the Illusions: A Sociological Chronicle 2007-2008. Dublin : IPA Dublin.
2008 Dr Mary Benson (2008) 'Contemporary Apartment Living: Living above Place?' In: M. Corcoran and P. Share(Eds.). Belongings: Shaping Identity in Modern Ireland. Dublin : IPA.

Edited Book

Year Publication
2016 Simon Bell, Runrid Fox-Kamper, Nazila Keshavarz, Mary Benson, Silvio Caputo, Susan Noori, Annette Voight (Ed.). (2016) Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe. Oxon: Routledge Earthscan,

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2017 Mary Benson (2017) ‘Diverse Public Spaces as an essential ingredient of the contemporary cityscape Irish Planning Conference 2017: National Planning Framework, The Future of Urban Planning, Activating Spaces & Developing places Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, 14/06/2017-.
2016 Mary Benson (2016) ‘Allotment Gardens: A re-imaging and re-imagining of suburban landscapes’ Socio-Ecology Seminar Series Maynooth University, 16/12/2016-.
2015 Mary Benson (2015) ‘Place-making in Allotment Gardens’ Cost Action TU1201 Birmingham, United Kingdom, .
2013 Mary Benson and Annette Jorgensen (2013) ‘A Visual Exploration of Allotments as Spaces of ‘Spectacle’: A comparative analysis of allotment gardens within The Greater Dublin Area and the City of Aarhus in Denmark IVSA Conference, The Public Image Goldsmiths, CUCR, University of London, .
2013 Mary Benson (2013) ‘A Sociological Understanding of Allotments in The Greater Dublin Area’ Cost Action TU1201 First Plenary Session Dortmund, Germany, .
2013 Mary Benson (2013) ‘A Sociological Overview and Methodological Approach to the Study of Allotment Gardens’ Cost Action TU1201 Aachen, Germany, .
2012 Mary Benson (2012) ‘Upper Sheriff Street: What’s in a Name?’ Affective Landscapes Conference Derby, UK, .
2010 Mary Benson (2010) ‘Re-imagining suburbia: Boundaries and the spatial composition of the urban allotments’ Conference of Irish Geographers Maynooth University, .
2010 Mary P. Corcoran, Mary C. Benson and Jacqueline Hayes (2010) The revival of urban allotments:a new public realm? Annual Conference of the Sociological Association of Ireland Belfast, 07/05/2010-09/05/2010.
2010 Mary Benson (2010) ‘Boundaries and the spatial composition of allotments: developing an alternative vision of residential landscapes’ Peripheral Visions Goldsmiths, UK, .

Fact Sheet

Year Publication
2016 Benson, Mary, Beata J. Gawryszewska and Susan Noori (2016) How to Make your Urban Garden your Own Place. FS
2016 Mary Benson (2016) Factsheet Info-Series, Urban Gardens in Europe. FS


Year Publication
2000 Mary Corcoran, Tony Fahy and Mary Benson (2000) BETWIXT Report Stage B, Social Profile of Neighbourhoods in seven European Cities. REPORT
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