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Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2123; doi:10.3390/su9112123

The Role of Geographical Landscape Studies for Sustainable Territorial Planning

1
Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Morelia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Morelia, 58190 Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
2
Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Morelia, 58190 Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
3
Department of Physical Geography and CEACTierra, University of Jaen, 23071 Jaen, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

One of the primary objectives of physical geography is to determine how natural phenomena produce specific territorial patterns. Therefore, physical geography offers substantial scientific input into territorial planning for sustainability. A key area where physical geography can contribute to land management is in the delimitation of landscape units. Such units are fundamental to formal socio-economic zoning and management in territorial planning. However, numerous methodologies—based on widely varying criteria—exist to delineate and map landscapes. We have selected five consolidated methodologies with current applications for mapping the landscape to analyse the different role of physical geography in each: (1) geomorphological landscape maps based on landforms; (2) geosystemic landscape maps; (3) Landscape Character Assessment; (4) landscape studies based on visual landscape units; (5) landscape image-pair test. We maintain that none of these methodologies are universally applicable, but that each contributes important insights into landscape analysis for land management within particular biogeophysical and social contexts. This work is intended to demonstrate that physical geography is ubiquitous in contemporary landscape studies intended to facilitate sustainable territorial planning, but that the role it plays varies substantially with the criteria prioritized. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental geography; landscape delimitation and mapping; geomorphology; geosystem-territory-landscape; viewshed; Landscape Character Assessment; image-pair test; territorial planning environmental geography; landscape delimitation and mapping; geomorphology; geosystem-territory-landscape; viewshed; Landscape Character Assessment; image-pair test; territorial planning
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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

Franch-Pardo, I.; Napoletano, B.M.; Bocco, G.; Barrasa, S.; Cancer-Pomar, L. The Role of Geographical Landscape Studies for Sustainable Territorial Planning. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2123.

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