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

  • Howley, Peter
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800911004022
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 72 (2011)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 161-169

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:72:y:2011:i:c:p:161-169
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.09.026
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    1. 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.
    2. Kline, Jeffrey & Wichelns, Dennis, 1998. "Measuring heterogeneous preferences for preserving farmland and open space," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 211-224, August.
    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. 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 173-90.
    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. 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.
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