Landscape and Urban Planning vol:55 issue:4 pages:257-270
This paper presents a diagnostic framework for evaluating landscapes. The basic premise for this framework is the existence of community values of any landscape and not only landscapes selected in terms of conservation or any other functionality. Land cover data are especially targeted as input source, since they are relatively unbiased in terms of landscape values and since they generally cover whole areas, not just target objects or conditions. The general evaluation model is based on quantifiable land cover and landscape structure characteristics. The process of landscape evaluation is an iterative improvement and refinement of indicators and reference data. Criteria and indicators have to be selected with reference to regional or local specificity and priorities. These indicators are translated into landscape metrics, which yield cartographic outputs of evaluation hypotheses of landscapes. The next step is to refine these hypotheses by adding information from complementary datasources. The importance of this study lies in a possible stimulation of the discussion of landscape values across areas, in the comparison of value perceptions between different regions, and in adding value to existing land cover data. Illustrations are given for the Madrid autonomous area. CORINE land coverdata and a vegetation map have been selected as information source. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.