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Landscape aesthetics: towards a better understanding of rural landscape preferences


  • Howley, Peter


The central aim of this study was to gain greater insights into the factors that affect individuals’ preferences for a variety of landscape settings. To achieve this aim, 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 utilized 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: towards a better understanding of rural landscape preferences," 85th Annual Conference, April 18-20, 2011, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 108956, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc11:108956

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Walid Oueslati & Julien Salanie, 2011. "Landscape valuation and planning," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(1), pages 1-6.
    4. N/A, 2011. "Editorial," Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, , vol. 23(3-4), pages 1-1, July.
    5. Kline, Jeffrey & Wichelns, Dennis, 1998. "Measuring heterogeneous preferences for preserving farmland and open space," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 211-224, August.
    6. D. Haughton & Chr. Biernacki & A. Lendasse & E. Masson & E. Severin, 2011. "Editorial," Post-Print hal-00801860, HAL.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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    Landscape preferences; environmental attitudes; Land Economics/Use;

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