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Landscape assessment in metropolitan areas – developing a visual indicator-based approach

Mari Sundli Tveit, Asa Ode Sang


Many studies have addressed landscape preferences in rural settings, identifying key aspects and elements of the visual landscape important for people’s appreciation. Information about these characteristics of landscapes has then been used as bases for indicator frameworks linking measurable indicators to landscape aesthetic theory. However, there is a need to expand and develop these frameworks to be relevant for assessment of metropolitan landscapes. Nine key concepts, identified by Tveit et al. (2006) and Ode et al (2008), in existing frameworks for visual landscape assessment, stewardship, naturalness, complexity, imageability, visual scale, historicity, coherence, disturbance and ephemera, are revisited in a metropolitan context, identifying landscape elements and indicators relevant for measuring visual landscape character in metropolitan areas. The study reviews existing evidence of people’s landscape preferences relating to urban landscapes and links this knowledge to map-based indicators that can be used by planners and decision-makers responsible for the management and monitoring of landscapes. This paper presents the key concepts in development of a theoretical framework for visual landscape assessment in metropolitan areas.


urban landscapes; landscape preferences; landscape assessment; landscape elements; green structure; perception

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