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Assessing the aesthetic quality of landscapes in Germany

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  • Hermes, Johannes
  • Albert, Christian
  • von Haaren, Christina

Abstract

A high landscape aesthetic quality (LAQ) arguably is an important ecosystem service that positively affects humans’ health and well-being. It is strongly appreciated by citizens and provides the backdrop and precondition for many outdoor activities. The objective of this paper is to map and assess the LAQ of landscapes across Germany. We developed and tested a method for a spatially explicit national assessment of LAQ. The method uses landscape diversity, naturalness and uniqueness as established indicators for landscape attractiveness, and applies several landscape metrics as proxies to spatially evaluate and map each of them. The results demonstrate that the LAQ varies substantially across Germany. Areas of high LAQ are located in the German high and many low mountain ranges, in riverine landscapes, and at the German coast and islands, whereas particularly low LAQ scores are found in urban agglomerations and intensively used open agrarian landscapes. The proportional distribution of values shows that most area is covered with mediocre scores, and that areas of extremely high or low scores are rare. The results respond to the EU biodiversity strategy’s request to member states to map and assess ecosystem services, and can usefully inform national and sub-national policy-, plan-, and decision-making.

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  • Hermes, Johannes & Albert, Christian & von Haaren, Christina, 2018. "Assessing the aesthetic quality of landscapes in Germany," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 31(PC), pages 296-307.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:31:y:2018:i:pc:p:296-307
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2018.02.015
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    Cited by:

    1. Thiele, Julia & Albert, Christian & Hermes, Johannes & von Haaren, Christina, 2020. "Assessing and quantifying offered cultural ecosystem services of German river landscapes," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 42(C).
    2. Barbara Sowińska-Świerkosz & Malwina Michalik-Śnieżek, 2020. "The Methodology of Landscape Quality (LQ) Indicators Analysis Based on Remote Sensing Data: Polish National Parks Case Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(7), pages 1-18, April.
    3. O'Donoghue, Cathal & Hynes, Stephen & Kilgarriff, Paul & Ryan, Mary & Tsakiridis, Andreas, 2020. "Assessing preferences for rural landscapes: An attribute based choice modelling approach," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), vol. 9(2), August.
    4. Seweryn Zielinski & Celene B. Milanés & Elena Cambon & Ofelia Perez Montero & Lourdes Rizo & Andres Suarez & Benjamin Cuker & Giorgio Anfuso, 2021. "An Integrated Method for Landscape Assessment: Application to Santiago de Cuba Bay, Cuba," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(9), pages 1-30, April.
    5. Wende, Wolfgang & Walz, Ulrich & Stein, Christian, 2020. "Evaluating municipal landscape plans and their influence on selected aspects of landscape development – An empirical study from Germany," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    6. Tafarte, Philip & Lehmann, Paul, 2021. "Quantifying trade-offs for the spatial allocation of onshore wind generation capacity: A case study for Germany," UFZ Discussion Papers 2/2021, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    7. Michael Roth & Silvio Hildebrandt & Ulrich Walz & Wolfgang Wende, 2021. "Large-Area Empirically Based Visual Landscape Quality Assessment for Spatial Planning—A Validation Approach by Method Triangulation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(4), pages 1-23, February.

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