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Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 794-810; doi:10.3390/su7010794

Landscape Valuation of Environmental Amenities throughout the Application of Direct and Indirect Methods

1,2,* , 2,†
Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics (CIEO), Ed. 8 Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre (IPP), Praça do Mun. Apartado 84, 7301-901 Portalegre, Portugal
Unidade de Investigação em Química Ambiental (UIQA), Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 13 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 January 2015 / Published: 12 January 2015
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Landscape design, construction and management should no longer be the result of superficial approaches based exclusively on designers’ and planners’ ideas. This research starts with the assumption that the aesthetic component constitutes an essential attribute for better understanding and evaluating landscapes. This study analyzes the aesthetic quality and economic valuation of the Lower Guadiana river landscape, through the application of direct and indirect landscape evaluation methods. In order to gauge not only experts’ opinion, it is supported by the application of public participation techniques about the opinion and perceptions of the site visitors/users. The present research considered the analysis of six landscape subunits regarding landscape quality, fragility and visual absorption capacity. The obtained results showed that there are significant differences between the perceptions of the general public and experts’ analysis. Touristic Complexes and Golf Courses had high visual quality, while Agricultural and Production Areas had high visual fragility. Moreover, the performed analysis made clear that the combined use of landscape assessment methods is suited to this type of study, since it enables quantifying the value of existence, management and maintenance of a particular environmental assets and/or services. View Full-Text
Keywords: aesthetic analysis; lower guadiana; riverscape; public participation; economic valuation aesthetic analysis; lower guadiana; riverscape; public participation; economic valuation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Loures, L.; Loures, A.; Nunes, J.; Panagopoulos, T. Landscape Valuation of Environmental Amenities throughout the Application of Direct and Indirect Methods. Sustainability 2015, 7, 794-810.

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