Next Article in Journal
Agrosilvopastoral Systems in Northern Thailand and Northern Laos: Minority Peoples’ Knowledge versus Government Policy
Next Article in Special Issue
Assessing the Quality of Agricultural Landscape Change with Multiple Dimensions
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Land-Use Threats and Protected Areas: A Scenario-Based, Landscape Level Approach
Open AccessArticle

Landscape Aesthetics and the Scenic Drivers of Amenity Migration in the New West: Naturalness, Visual Scale, and Complexity

1
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1560 30th St, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
2
Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona, 1955 East Sixth St, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2014, 3(2), 390-413; https://doi.org/10.3390/land3020390
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 8 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation)
Values associated with scenic beauty are common “pull factors” for amenity migrants, however the specific landscape features that attract amenity migration are poorly understood. In this study we focused on three visual quality metrics of the intermountain West (USA), with the objective of exploring the relationship between the location of exurban homes and aesthetic landscape preference, as exemplified through greenness, viewshed size, and terrain ruggedness. Using viewshed analysis, we compared the viewsheds of actual exurban houses to the viewsheds of randomly-distributed simulated (validation) houses. We found that the actual exurban households can see significantly more vegetation and a more rugged (complex) terrain than simulated houses. Actual exurban homes see a more rugged terrain, but do not necessarily see the highest peaks, suggesting that visual complexity throughout the viewshed may be more important. The viewsheds visible from the actual exurban houses were significantly larger than those visible from the simulated houses, indicating that visual scale is important to the general aesthetic experiences of exurbanites. The differences in visual quality metric values between actual exurban and simulated viewsheds call into question the use of county-level scales of analysis for the study of landscape preferences, which may miss key landscape aesthetic drivers of preference. View Full-Text
Keywords: amenity-migration; exurbanization; residential development; aesthetic drivers; viewshed analysis; greenness; terrain ruggedness; Arizona amenity-migration; exurbanization; residential development; aesthetic drivers; viewshed analysis; greenness; terrain ruggedness; Arizona
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Vukomanovic, J.; Orr, B.J. Landscape Aesthetics and the Scenic Drivers of Amenity Migration in the New West: Naturalness, Visual Scale, and Complexity. Land 2014, 3, 390-413.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop