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Other publication, 2012

Applying the Concepts of Landscape Capacity and Sensitivity in Assessment of Intensively Changing Rural Landscapes

Sarlöv-Herlin, Ingrid


Countries that have ratified the European Landscape Convention have agreed toidentify and assess characteristics of landscapes and the forces and pressureswhichtransform them. Methods to identify and map landscape character, that can be applied in spatial planning and landscape management, have been developed in England since the 1970's, and are increasingly used in other European countries. This requiresa critical analysisof howthe English methods for landscape characterisation areapplied in their national context and how such methods can be adapted toother countries. As part of the method for Landscape Character Assessment (LCA); the concepts of landscape sensitivityand landscape capacityare used to measure and make judgements of acceptable changes in particular areas. This study investigates, through the examination of Landscape Sensitivity Studies that have been performed inBritainon regional and local levels,the discourse used for justifying and explaining landscape sensitivityand capacity.What do theseconceptsmean and can the underlying values be detected?Are the methodsused consistently between different Landscape Sensitivity Studies or how do they differ? Finally an assessmentof landscapesensitivity is performed and discussed on a local level in anagriculturallandscape near the city of Lund in southern Sweden, an area characterised by a very intense change of land-use from agriculture to peri-urbanhorsy-cultureduringthe last decade and an intense expansion of windturbines duringthe last five years. How can we assess such a rapidly changing landscape in the terms of its sensitivity and capacity?

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Book title: The Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape, Reflection on landscape change: