Testing the difference between experts’ and lay people’s landscape preferences
The European Landscape Convention, ratified by 40 nations, has placed emphasis on the necessity that the value of the landscape is assessed by the population. However it is standard practice that a few experts decide which areas are of landscape interest and the transformations that are compatible with their conservation. To compare the landscape preferences of experts and lay people a study was done on the Po Delta Natural Park (Italy) using a psychophysical approach. In our case study the average scores of experts and lay people are not very different. However it was also ascertained that the experts evaluate the presence of some elements in a way that differs from lay people. As the responsibility for landscape policies is normally devolved to a few experts it would appear necessary that the preferences and opinions of lay people should always be carefully analysed.
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