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Landscape aesthetics: Assessing the general publics' preferences towards rural landscapes

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  • Howley, Peter

Abstract

The central aim of this study was to gain greater insights into the factors that affect individuals' preferences for a variety of landscape settings. Using a nationally representative survey conducted in the summer of 2010 of 430 individuals living in Ireland, this paper derived dependent variables (based on a factor analysis of respondents mean ratings of 47 landscape images) representing 5 different landscape categories. These variables were then utilised in separate OLS regression models to examine the effect of personal characteristics, residential location and environmental value orientations on landscape preferences. First in terms of visual amenity the results suggest that the general public have the strongest preference for landscapes with water related features as its dominant attribute which was followed by cultural landscapes. Second the results also demonstrate how there is significant heterogeneity in landscape preferences as both personal characteristics and environmental value orientations were found to strongly influence preferences for all the landscape types examined. Moreover the effect of these variables often differed significantly across the various landscape groupings. In terms of land use policy, given the diversity of preferences a one size fits all approach will not meet the general publics' needs and desires.

Suggested Citation

  • Howley, Peter, 2011. "Landscape aesthetics: Assessing the general publics' preferences towards rural landscapes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 161-169.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:72:y:2011:i:c:p:161-169
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.09.026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pruckner, Gerald J, 1995. "Agricultural Landscape Cultivation in Austria: An Application of the CVM," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 173-190.
    2. Christopher Raymond & Gregory Brown, 2011. "Assessing spatial associations between perceptions of landscape value and climate change risk for use in climate change planning," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 653-678, February.
    3. Sayadi, Samir & Gonzalez Roa, M. Carmen & Calatrava Requena, Javier, 2005. "Ranking versus scale rating in conjoint analysis: Evaluating landscapes in mountainous regions in southeastern Spain," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 539-550, December.
    4. Waltert, Fabian & Schläpfer, Felix, 2010. "Landscape amenities and local development: A review of migration, regional economic and hedonic pricing studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 141-152, December.
    5. Rambonilaza, Tina, 2005. "Land-use planning and public preferences: What can we learn from choice experiments method?," MPRA Paper 9225, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2007.
    6. Howley, Peter & Hynes, Stephen & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2010. "The citizen versus consumer distinction: An exploration of individuals' preferences in Contingent Valuation studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1524-1531, May.
    7. Kline, Jeffrey & Wichelns, Dennis, 1998. "Measuring heterogeneous preferences for preserving farmland and open space," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 211-224, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eija Pouta & Ioanna Grammatikopoulou & Timo Hurme & Katriina Soini & Marja Uusitalo, 2014. "Assessing the Quality of Agricultural Landscape Change with Multiple Dimensions," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-19, July.
    2. Fan, Yubing & McCann, Laura E., 2015. "Households' Adoption of Drought Tolerant Plants: An Adaptation to Climate Change?," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205544, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. repec:eso:journl:v:47:y:2016:i:3:p:425-445 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. van Zanten, Boris T. & Verburg, Peter H. & Scholte, S.S.K. & Tieskens, K.F., 2016. "Using choice modeling to map aesthetic values at a landscape scale: Lessons from a Dutch case study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 221-231.
    5. repec:eee:touman:v:42:y:2014:i:c:p:282-293 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Scholte, Samantha S.K. & van Teeffelen, Astrid J.A. & Verburg, Peter H., 2015. "Integrating socio-cultural perspectives into ecosystem service valuation: A review of concepts and methods," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 67-78.
    7. De Ayala Bilbao, Amaya & Hoyos Ramos, David & Mariel Chladkova, Petr, 2012. "Landscape valuation through discrete choice experiments: Current practice and future research reflections," BILTOKI Biltoki;2012-03, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Economía Aplicada III (Econometría y Estadística).

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