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The nature and ecology of aesthetic experiences in the landscape

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Chenoweth, Richard E.; Gobster, Paul H.

Year Published



Landscape Journal 9(1):1-8


The assumption that aesthetically pleasing environments provide valued experiences that can improve people's quality of life underlies many government landscape policies and their resultant assessment procedures. Although the aesthetic experience has been discussed by philosophers and some psychologists, the aesthetic experience of landscapes has not been studied empirically. This research reports the results of an investigation into the nature and ecology of that experience. Twenty-five college students were given diaries consisting of structured and open-ended response formats in which to record their aesthetic experiences during the spring semester. These experiences differed greatly in terms of their impact on the percipient, showed a definite ecology in time and space, and were highly valued relative to other meaningful life experiences. Implications for research in landscape assessment and management of landscapes for aesthetic experiences are discussed.


Chenoweth, Richard E.; Gobster, Paul H. 1990. The nature and ecology of aesthetic experiences in the landscape. Landscape Journal 9(1):1-8

Last updated on: August 11, 2006