Analysing the relationship between indicators of landscape complexity and preference
With the adoption of the European Landscape Convention the importance of landscape character and amenity functions have gained increased political recognition across Europe. Landscape complexity has been proposed as an important concept for describing visual character, with a range of landscape metrics developed for describing visual complexity. We present the results of a survey relating specific landscape metrics of complexity with preference for landscape. The survey used visualisations of six scenarios of landscape composition which showed differences in the amount of land cover as well as the distribution between open land use and forest. Metrics of complexity were applied for both map representation and panoramic scenes of the landscape. The relationship between complexity and preference was tested and strong relationships were found for the Shannon diversity index, Shannon evenness index, and aggregation index when applied to both maps and perspective views. The only background factor demonstrating a relationship with preference was age, whilst gender, occupation (ie working with landscape issues or not), and membership of an organisation involved with landscape issues all showed weaker relationships with preference.
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