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Title: Using spatial metrics to predict scenic perception in a changing landscape: Dennis, Massachusetts
Author: Palmer, James F.
Publication: Landscape and Urban Planning 69(2004): 201-218
Key Words: Landscape ecology, Landscape assessment, GIS, Visual quality, Landscape perception, Landscape change, FRAGSTATS
Abstract: This paper investigates residents' perceptions of scenic quality in the Cape Cod community of Dennis, Massachusetts during a period of significant landscape change. In the mid-1970s, Chandler [Natural and Visual Resources, Dennis, Massachusetts. Dennis Conservation Commission and Planning Board, Dennis, MA, 1976] worked with a community group to evaluate the natural resources of their town, an important component of which was scenic value. In the mid-1990s, the original views were re-photographed and another sample of Dennis residents surveyed. Landscape metrics grounded in the landscape ecology literature were used to predict residents' perception of scenic value for each time period. The results indicate that approximately half of the variation in scenic perceptions can be explained by spatial landscape metrics and that this model retains its predictive efficacy after 20 years. These results provide some guidance for landscape planners and designers about the preferred composition and configuration of human landscapes. In particular, they provide additional support for the contribution of natural-appearing landscapes with a complex pattern of edges to a community's scenic quality.
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