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- Study about visual preferences in Mediterranean areas and its relation with personal characteristics.
- Landscape's attributes influences are similar to other locations.
- Respondents' characteristics are not related to landscape's perception.
- Certain landscape's preferences appear according to the characteristic studied.
The European Landscape Convention (ELC) suggests the population's perception is the main factor in landscape assessment and planning. As a result, this subjective approach assumes differences among the population's visual perception according to their personal factors, e.g. socio-demographic characteristics, which have to be studied in several areas in order to improve landscape management. In this regard, the goal of this paper is to know if the population's visual perception of Mediterranean landscapes is similar to other environments previously studied. In addition, we sought to determine whether certain socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents (age, gender and education level) influenced their visual preferences. We assessed the population's landscape preferences through several photographs of representative Mediterranean landscapes shown in an online survey. We then evaluated the average score of each photograph according to the landscape shown and the socio-demographic characteristics of the population. The final results demonstrate that water bodies and vegetation fundamentally contribute to a positive evaluation of whole landscape scenes. In contrast, human impact on landscapes (industrial or mining areas) reduces their scenic beauty. Despite the fact that these findings are consistent with previous research with respect to people in Mediterranean areas that have the same visual preferences as those in other locations, we did not find that any respondents' socio-demographic characteristics significantly influenced their general landscape perception. However, for certain landscapes several differences under the same socio-demographic characteristic were found.
Journal: Ecological Engineering - Volume 104, Part A, July 2017, Pages 205-215