Skip to Main Content
Interpreting landscape change: measured biophysical change and surrounding social contextAuthor(s): Mimi M. Wagner; Paul H. Gobster
Source: Landscape and Urban Planning. 81: 67-80.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (2.31 MB)
DescriptionAlthough research assessing both biophysical landscape conditions and social perceptions provide critical data on change, these methods are seldom integrated. In this study, we examined landscape change in the Central Iowa region by pairing quantitative data on changes to natural areas, streams, and housing density over the past 60 years with a qualitative social assessment of current resident stakeholders' interpretations of these changes. We found participants intuitively curious about and interested in landscape change within their region, and their interpretations of change to be fairly complex. Perceptions of change generally included an evaluative assessment, which often served to place measures of landscape salient to residents within a dualistic framework. This perspective both colored the data regarding landscape change and directed them to focus on attributes of change that the quantitative assessment did not. Finally, participants sometimes varied in their ability to assess change among metrics. These findings suggest how data gathering activities might be better sequenced and how metrics might better constructed to improve the utility and robustness of both participatory and non-participatory landscape change assessments.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationWagner, Mimi M.; Gobster, Paul H. 2007. Interpreting landscape change: measured biophysical change and surrounding social context. Landscape and Urban Planning. 81: 67-80.
Keywordsintegrated research, GIS, social assessment, qualitative analysis, participatory assessments
- A two stage analysis of recreation conflict as a basis for management strategies in the black forest: a methodological contribution
- Using spatial metrics to predict scenic perception in a changing landscape: Dennis, Massachusetts
- Changing times, changing stories: Generational differences in climate change perspectives from four remote indigenous communities in Subarctic Alaska
XML: View XML