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Visualisation tools for public participation in managing landscape change

The way land is managed is increasingly being decided upon at a local level. Greater public participation in landscape planning processes and increasing empowerment of local administration to determine resource exploitation and development are growing trends throughout Europe. Though some of the changes reflect European Union policies at a regional or European scale, for example, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), these changes will affect land cover and rural landscape patterns at a local scale and in different ways across Europe (the processes of intensification or abandonment, take up of new cropping systems). Yet, the understanding of the outcomes and consequences of landscape planning decisions is generally poor among decision makers, the public and their elected representatives. It is therefore important to develop tools that increase the understanding of landscape changes and provide techniques for supporting the planning and negotiation of changes in land use policy that will affect regional and local environments.

The objectives of the project are:
1) to develop visualisation techniques to assess future landscapes
2) to develop quantitative indicators of landscape change
3) to provide a robust set of preference models applicable to European landscapes
4) to test the potential to link assessments of visual qualities and production, socio-economic, ecological, cultural and amenity functions
5) to test the effectiveness of visualisation tools in communicating the outcomes of policy and planning decisions on landscape evolution
6) to exploit the project results and tools through the production of educational materials and outreach schemes for professional training and the public.

Progress to Date
1) Reviews of visual preference models, visual and non-visual indicators, and delivery mechanisms are currently being undertaken.
2) A prototype visualisation tool is being designed, with a demonstration of the core features having been completed. This demonstration will now be subject to partner and end user comment as part of the design stage of development of the tools.
3) Metadata is being gathered on all the relevant data currently available, which is to be used within the project.
4) Analysis of the spatial patterns of visibility of features in the landscape is being undertaken for each of the study areas. This analysis uses Geographic Information Systems to calculate the extent of the visibility of each land-use type, and the composition of the view from each location using the study areas.


Scientist responsible for the project

Craigiebuckler Box AB158QH
AB15 8QH Aberdeen
United Kingdom (The) - GB

Phone: +44 1224 498200
Fax: +44 1224 311556


Project ID QLRT-2001-01017
Organisation Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
Area 5.1.1
Start date 01 January 2003
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 2 141 523 €
Total EC contribution   1 102 722 €
Status Ongoing
Web address of the project

The partners


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