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Can Professional Aesthetic Landscape Assessments Become More Truly Robust? Challenges, Opportunities, and a Model of Landscape AppraisalAuthor(s): Robert G. Ribe
Source: In: Gobster, Paul H.; Smardon, Richard C., eds. 2018. Visual resource stewardship conference proceedings: landscape and seascape management in a time of change. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-183. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 44-56.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionDiverse objections have been raised to the prevailing North American practice of performing aesthetic landscape assessments via expert descriptions of formalist pictorial qualities. This paper explores compelling reasons for this situation such as constraints imposed by legal definitions and due process, as well as pragmatic and political issues. Examples from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the European Union show how these constraints and issues need not limit the form and content of assessments. Formalist pictorial aesthetics are noted as a safe and fundamental basis for public perceptions. Hazards with more robust approaches to landscape aesthetics are discussed as potentially usurping political decision authority. A more robust, clear, and distinctive definition of landscape aesthetics is suggested from neuroscience. A model of landscape appraisal is proposed that explains how more diverse but distinctively aesthetic values may be incorporated into assessments. An alternative solution would be an American Landscape Convention.
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CitationRibe, Robert G. 2018. Can Professional Aesthetic Landscape Assessments Become More Truly Robust? Challenges, Opportunities, and a Model of Landscape Appraisal. In: Gobster, Paul H.; Smardon, Richard C., eds. 2018. Visual resource stewardship conference proceedings: landscape and seascape management in a time of change. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-183. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 44-56.
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