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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Indicators of perceived naturalness as drivers of landscape preference

Ode, Asa; Fry, Gary; Tveit, Mari S.; Messager, Pernette; Miller, David


The concept of naturalness is one of the more studied concepts in landscape preference research and describes how close a landscape is to a perceived natural state. In this study we explored the relationship between landscape preference and three landscape indicators of naturalness (level of succession, number of woodland patches and shape index of edges). We used computer-generated visualisations of a hypothetical landscape containing pasture and broadleaved woodland. In the landscape simulations we altered the values of the naturalness indicators between the levels of low, medium and high, creating 27 different visualisations. The survey wits distributed as an on-line survey in seven different languages and obtained 703 respondents. The study showed a strong relationship with preference for both the level of succession and number of woodland patches, and a weaker relationship with shape index of edges. The two demographic factors which were shown to contribute most to the formation of preference were gender and having a landscape related profession. The results suggest that the selected indicators are more important drivers of preference than demographic factors. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Landscape preference; Naturalness; Visual indicators; Visualisation; Succession; Fragmentation; Shape complexity

Published in

Journal of Environmental Management
2009, volume: 90, number: 1, pages: 375-383
Publisher: Elsevier

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Landskapsarkitektur
Fry, Gary
Tveit, Mari S
Messager, Pernette
Miller, David

UKÄ Subject classification

Landscape Architecture

Publication Identifiers


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