Title: Measuring landscape esthetics: the scenic beauty estimation method
Author: Daniel, Terry C.; Boster, Ron S.;
Source: Res. Pap. RM-RP-167. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Range and Experiment Station. 66 p.
Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
Description: The Scenic Beauty Estimation Method (SBE) provides quantitative measures of esthetic preferences for alternative wildland management systems. Extensive experimentation and testing with user, interest, and professional groups validated the method. SBE shows promise as an efficient and objective means for assessing the scenic beauty of public forests and wildlands, and also for predicting the esthetic consequences of alternative land uses. Extensions and modifications of the basic methodology offer potentially useful design, planning, and management tools.
Download here: https://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/20911
LANDSCAPE EVALUATION: OVERVIEW
Public sentiment and legislative mandate require that esthetic and other intangible consequences of public land use be considered. Landscape scenic beauty is one of the most important of our natural resources. Of the many resources we use, preserve, and try to improve, scenic beauty has proven one of the most difficult to measure in an objective, scientific manner. No doubt this is because beauty is only partially defined by characteristics of the environment, and depends, in large part, upon human judgment. National Forests are a significant source of scenic beauty, and management must be responsive to the value of this resource. Assessment of scenic beauty and of management impacts on scenic beauty has, however, posed a difficult problem for public land managers. Meaningful indicators of public esthetic preferences are necessary to comprehensive, multi-use planning and management of our National Forests. The major purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a technique for measuring scenic beauty in terms of public perceptual judgment. In this context, our five specific objectives are:
1. To discuss the need for systematic, objective measurement and prediction of the scenic beauty of forest landscapes and related wildlands.
The esthetic qualities of forests and wildlands have long been recognized as important. Much of the recent upsurge in environmental concern has focused on intangibles such as scenic beauty. As is the case for most environmental intangibles, improved means of measurement and prediction are needed. A discussion of the need for new and improved methods for considering the scenic resource is an appropriate beginning to this report.
2. To review and comment on selected approaches to the problem of scenic beauty measurement and prediction.
Until recently, designers, planners, and decisionmakers have relied to a large extent on either their own intuition or the intuition of others to assess scenic beauty. Predicting esthetic consequences of land management options has been equally subjective. Recently, a number of approaches and techniques have been offered for measuring and, to a lesser extent, for predicting scenic beauty. A discussion of those approaches is needed to place the general problem in perspective.