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Quantifying visual landscape quality in rural Wales: A GIS-enabled method for extensive monitoring of a valued cultural ecosystem service

Swetnam, R.D. and Harrison-Curran, S.K. and Smith, G.R. (2017) Quantifying visual landscape quality in rural Wales: A GIS-enabled method for extensive monitoring of a valued cultural ecosystem service. Ecosystem Services. ISSN 22120416 (In Press)

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Abstract or description

Landscape views and the enjoyment people derive from them, represent an important cultural ecosystem service (CES) as recognised in frameworks such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) and TEEB (2010). We present a method to evaluate the quality of the landscape view, created for the assessment and monitoring of Welsh rural landscapes. This consists of: (i) a Visual Quality Index (VQI) and (ii) a viewshed model to calculate a Zone of Visual Influence (ZVI). From existing literature, we selected 19 landscape components commonly found to influence landscape quality ratings. Using vegetation surveys and GIS datasets each component was measured and assigned a numeric value based either on presence or quantity and/or extent for 150, 1km2 survey sites across Wales. Totalling these values, then scaling and weighting them provided an index for each site between 0 and 1 (VQI). Each site was then evaluated for a range of potential users (pedestrians, cyclists, car-users) to calculate a modelled viewshed (ZVI). By combining the VQI and the ZVI, we capture two elements: firstly the intrinsic landscape quality (its aesthetics) and secondly, how much of the landscape can be seen by the public in order to enjoy the view

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper is part of a Special Issue and still appears to be in press ..even though published online.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Humanities and Performing Arts
Depositing User: Ruth SWETNAM
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2017 09:36
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 09:36
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3535

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