3 years ago

Participatory mapping of landscape values in a Pan-European perspective

Anu Printsmann, Dimitris Gounaridis, Tobias Plieninger, Maria Garcia-Martin, Juraj Lieskovský, Claudia Bieling, Matthias Müller, Nora Fagerholm, Thanasis Kizos



Human–nature interactions are reflected in the values people assign to landscapes. These values shape our understanding and actions as landscape co-creators, and need to be taken into account to achieve an integrated management of the landscape that involves civil society.


The aim of this research was to increase the current knowledge on the most and least common landscape values perceived by local stakeholders, the patterns in the spatial distribution of values, and their connection to different socio-economic backgrounds and landscape characteristics across Europe.


The research consisted of a cross-site comparison study on how landscape values are perceived in six areas of Europe using Public Participation GIS surveys. Answers were analysed combining contingency tables, spatial autocorrelation and bivariate correlation methods, kernel densities, land cover ratios, and viewshed analyses. Results were discussed in the light of findings derived from other European participatory mapping studies.


We identified shared patterns in the perception of landscape values across Europe. Recreation, aesthetics, and social fulfilment were the most common values. Landscape values showed common spatial patterns mainly related to accessibility and the presence of water, settlements, and cultural heritage. However, respondents in each study site had their own preferences connected to the intrinsic characteristics of the local landscape and culture.


The results encourage land planners and researchers to approach landscape values in relation to socio-cultural and bio-physical land characteristics comprehensibly, acknowledging the complexity in the relationship between people’s perception and the landscape, to foster more effective and inclusive landscape management strategies.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10980-017-0531-x

DOI: 10.1007/s10980-017-0531-x

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