Stated preference studies are increasingly employed to estimate the value of attributes of European agrarian landscapes and changes therein. However, cross-case comparison and up-scaling of case study evidence is hampered by the context-specific nature of these studies. Researchers from the VU university in Amsterdam have addressed this problem by applying a meta-analysis of preference studies. They collected 345 preference estimates for landscape attributes. Cross-case comparison was enabled by developing a classification of landscape attributes.
They found that landscape attributes that describe mosaic land cover, historic buildings or the presence of livestock generally receive the highest stated preferences across studies. Furthermore, relations were found between preferences for particular attributes and context variables – such as population density and GDP per capita – using a meta-regression analysis. For instance, it was found that in densely populated areas forest or natural land cover is more appreciated.
The results provide the first cross-disciplinary and cross-case evidence on relations between preferences for landscape attributes and socio-economic and landscape context conditions. The study is a first step towards the development of social landscape indicators that reflect the perceived value of landscapes at regional and pan-regional scales, which is increasingly important as landscape policies are progressively implemented at European level.
Boris van Zanten
Institute for Environmental Studies
Reference: van Zanten B.T., Verburg P.H., Koetse M.J., van Beukering P.J.H., 2014. Preferences for European agrarian landscapes: A meta-analysis of case studies. Landscape and Urban Planning, 132, 89–101. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.08.012
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