James W Cerny.

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Council of Planning Librarians exchange bibliography

May 1972



James W. Cerny
Dept. of Geography
Clark University

Mrs. Mary Vance, Editor
Post Office Box 229
Monticello, Illinois 61856


MAY 15 1972




James W. Cerny
Departrnent of Geography
Clark University


Concurrent vdth the increased general concern about environ-
mental problems, there is an increased academic concern vjith the
measurement or quantification of landscape amenity as one aspect
of environmental quality. The work is diverse in its sources,
both because mar^ fields are involved and because the individuals
and their work tend not to fit into categories. Most of the mat-
erial is less than ten years old, with a notable explosion of
publications in the last five years. Some xrork tends to be re-
ported, at least initially, in occasional papers, master's theses,
and even less formal sources that are difficult to locate and ob-
tain. A few references have not been included for the.'je reasons.

Amenity, as used here in conjunction xd.th landscape is in-
tended to encompass the concept of environmental quality vjhich is
frequently expressed by a motley collection of terms, e.g. "intan-
gible", "beautiful", or "esthetic". Amenity is not used here to
encompass a sense of community or social coherence as Pred (196U)
uses the concept. Primarily these amenity elements of the lands-
cape are visual, but at some scales odor, as from a rendering
plant or kraft mill, or noise, as from a jet port, and sometimes
more complex feelings, such as the so-called wilderness experience,
are involved. Evaluation of these features has traditionally been
considered subjective, outside the market place where a dollar val-
ue or any other objective value could be assigned. Further, even
idth supposedly objective analyses there can be serious shortcom-
ings, as is the case mth the widely used cost-benefit analysis,
for which a vast literature of guidelines and criticisms exists.


VJho decides what constitutes amenity is a major problem. Not
everyone is as intellectually arrogant as Stephen Dedalus, the
self-styled "narcissistic esthete" of Ulysses . This comes to the
matter of consensus. Variations in landscape preference may be
through time (Lowenthal, 1%2), or they may reflect cultural dif-
ferences, social and economic status, or native/non-nativeness, i.
e., adaptation (Sonnenfeld, 1966). It has been shown that the

2. CPL Zxchznge Bibliography #287

planners for an area nay have very different criteria than the re-
sidents they are si^posedly planning for (Lansing and Kararis,
1969). There are some suggestions, however, in the work of Stevens
(1966) and V'aller (1970) that peqjle can agree fairly closely on
scales of preference for some kinds of phenoinena that are consid-
ered at a mora abstract or higher level than the specific case.
This poses the question of vrhat the basic aspects or dimensions of
the landscape are (Craik, 1970).

Some of the aspects or dimensions of landscape amenity that
have been considered are: legibility, ugliness, coherence, sim-
plicity, beauty, fear, variety, clarity, corplexity, fitness, and
wildness. These dimensions are overlapping, conflicting, and naj
not even exist as important entities, but they are sor^e that have
received attention. Kates (1966) was one of the first to suggest
that it vjould be easier to agree upon ugliness instead of beauty,
although they are not exact opposites, and Leopold and Karchand
(1969) have carried this further lath measures of relative unique-
ness. Legibility was considered by Jacobs and Vay (I969) in the
capacity of a landscape to absorb new activities. The notion of
complexity, in various forms, has received a good deal of attention,
both implicitl;'' in operational practice (Linton, 1966 j Res. Flan.
Des. Ass., 1970) and in a specvilative way (Hapoport and Havkes,
1970; Rapoport and Kantor, 1967). Vholvdll (1966) discusses opti-
mal levels of stimulation, that is, that there is an cptinal range
of complexity. Only in several cases have researchers atterpted
to cnpirically derive dimensions (Shafer et al ., 1969; Peterson,
1967), and then for the specific purposes of their studies rather
than as general invariant dimensions. Host researchers have
assumed a set of dimensions or factors and have proceeded frco


Despite the statement that the work on landscape assessment
does not fit into tidy categories, the work ^ndll be discussed
first vdth respect to the methodology of the studies and secondly
from the point of purpose. Methodology as used here conmngles
research design and analytical techniques.

Sairpling is involved at two levels in studies of landscape
amenity; sartpling to get subject responses as to preference and
sampling to get representative sites for study. The subjects used
in these studies tend to be selected in vaj-s not clearly stated
(Fines, I967), or from student populations at hand (l.enjer and
Vldebeck, 1969), although some studies (Cook, 1971; Shafer et al .,
1969) have used respondents on site. There is considerable vari-
ation and doubt concerning the representiveness of the sites chos-
en for use in analyses. In a number of instances photographs were
used to represent landscapes to the subjects, raising the question
of v;hether a black and white, or even a color, photograph can ade-
quately represent a landscape such that inferences about the real

3. CPL Exchange Bibliography #287

vjorld can be made. Fines (196?) does not indicate the criteria he
used for selecting photographs, nor does Peterson (1967), nor
Shafer and Mietz (1970) . Several different methods have been used
to extract preferences from these photographs, Fines had subjects
rank the photographs and used these as marker points to establish
a scale of comparison for other landscapes. Peterson and Shafer
and Metz used regression and factor analytic techniques to ex-
tract factors believed important, to be used later in rating other
photographs .

By contrast, those researchers who have relied on intuitive
judgements, tempered by related work, have been faced ■vri.th prob-
lems of establishing rating scales (Sargent, 1967| Zube, 1970j
Linton, 1968 j Litton, 1968). Generally several important elements
have been selected, say relief of landiorm and variety of landuse,
and methods have been devised for rating landscapes on these fac-
tors and compositing the ratings into a single number. The prob-
lem is that these techniques of compositing are arbitrary and imply
that an interval or ratio scale is being used vrhen there is little
evidence that anything but an ordinal scale is involved. Invari-
ance of results must also be considered and, as yet, is undemcn-
strated. This may depend on sampling methods or may be inherent
in the general analytical technique. Leopold (1969) j for example,
in his studies of relative urdqueness bases results on the specific
group of riverscapes under study and addition or deletion of a
site, or a drastic change in conditions at one site, will change
the whole analysis. This touches on the matter of representative
conditions. Is it desirable to consider typical conditions, or in
some areas are cyclical or eirphemeral conditions the very essence
of the landscape? For most of the methodological problems that
have been touched on there is no easy ansirer.

To predict the direction research Td.ll take in landscape
assessment is difficult, but there has been considerable interest
in using measures derived from information theory. Entropy has
proved to be an exciting topic in almost every scientific discip-
line, even where it has produced little tangible benefit. A num-
ber of studies link information theory, entropy, and landscape in
passing (Rapoport and Hawkes, 1970j Gurevl.ch, 1969). Perhaps the
most direct attempt to apply information theory to an esthetic type
of problem is Moles (1966), who studied music in particular.
Moles' work is suggestive, but untried i-dth respect to the visual


The reasons and uses for landscape amenity assessment are
varied. Most basic are studies in cognition, exploring how people
learn about their environments and hew they view the world about
them (Craik, n.d.). Many studies are directed at more general plan-
ning and inventory, often at a regional scale (Fines, 1967; Linton,

h. CPL Zxchange Bibliography #287

1968; Zube, 1970; VMtUck, 1970j Sargent, 19^7). Zube and Pines
concentrated on regions or areas, vhereas Linton, Sargent, and also
Gould (1968) and Jacobs and Uay (1565) have stressed scenic corri-
dors. Corridor studies are strongly influenced by the nods of
travel being considered, vrhether the people will be en foot, in a
car, or some combination of both. A very specific use of landscape
assessment is for inclusion in environmental irq^act statements
(Leopold et al ., 1971). As a group, foresters have been one of
the most active developers of techniques of assessing amenity.
Their studies vary from general studies of forest ajreas to corri-
dors vathin forests to specific trees (Cook, 1971; Gould, 1566;
Helliwell, 1967; Litton, I968; Streeby, 1970). 3one of the least
specific studies are those that might be temed essays, scne pri-
marily speculative and subjective (Lowenthal, 1968; Lowenthal and
Prince, I96U) and others that combine these qualities vith a visual
presentation (Blake, I96I4; Nairn, 1965). A new possible use of
landscape amenity assessment is in scenic easements (/ji. Ear. Ass.,
1967; Little, 1969; llhyte, 1968). Scenic easements are increasing-
ly being looked to in the planning of tovn environr^nts and as
Uilliams (1968) indicates, it is difficult to select sites and
evaluate the subsequent effects of easements on sale price. A
landscape rating scheme might be helpful in both selecting sites
for easements and in calculating tax adjustments.


A question that has not been asked before, is whether nore
than a subjective assessment of landscape anenity should be atterpt-
ed? Tuan (1961) indicates that our appreciation nay cone in rare
and unpredicitable times and circumstances that can't be plarjied
for. The ans^-;er seems to lie in the increased irportance of plan-
ning decisions. Elements that can be most readily quantified are
apt to be most fxilly considered, assuming gratuitiously that the
goals of most public decision-makers are such that adequate con-
sideration and v;eight vill be given to amenity features and elenents
if hard, quantified information on amenity is obtainable. If this
is not a valid assumption, a pessimistic alternative is that a
method of amenity analysis would at least allow measurement of the
state and rate of decline in the landscape. A sanguine alternative
is that a method of amenity analysis iTOuld be an ir^ortant tool
for those individuals and communities that wished tc plan for
landscape amenity even if their neighbors did not wish to do so.

$. GPL Exchange Bibliography ^^287


1. American Bar Association. "Junkyards, Geraniums and Juris-

prudence: Aesthetics and the Law." Proceedings of a Two
Day National Institute, June 2-3, 196?, Chicago, Illinois.

2. Blake, Peter. God's Own Junkyard. New York: Holt, Rinehart

and Winston, I96I4.

3. Craik, Kenneth H. "Environmental Assessment." Forthcoming

in Advances in Psychological Assessment, Vol. 11, Paul
McReynolds, editor. Palo Alto: Science and Behavior Books.

U. Craik, Kenneth H. "A System of Landscape Dimensions: Apprai-
sal of its Objectivity and Illustration of its Scientific
Application." Institute of Personality Assessment and
Research, University of California (Report to Resources
for the Future, Inc.), 1?70.

5. Cook, Walter Lee. "The Aesthetic Quality of Forest Trees."

Doctoral Dissertation, College of Forestry, Syracuse Univ-
ersity, 1971. University fficrofilms No. 71-30089.

6. Fines, K.D. "Landscape Evaluation: A Research Project in

East Sussex." Regional Studies, Vol. 2 (1967), Itl-U5.
See also D.M. Brancher, "Critique of K.D. Fines: Land-
scape Evaluation: A Research Project in East Sus.sex";"
Regional Studies, Vol. 3 (1969), 91-92| and K.D. Fines,
''Landscape Evaluation — A Research Project in East Sussex;
Rejoinder to Critique by D.M. Brancher." Regional Studies,
Vol. 3 (1969), 219.

7. Gould, E.M., with R.A. Howard and V^. 'Regan. Grant Research

Project No. 1 FS-WO-1902. Mimeographed (I67 pp.)« Harvard
Forest, Petersham, Massachusetts, 1968.

8. Gurevich, B.L. "Measures of Feature-based and Areal Differ-

entiations and Their Use in City Services." Soviet Geo-
graphy: Review & Translation, Vol. 10 (1969);, 383-386.
Originally in Materialy Vtorogo Mezhduvedomstvennogo
Soveshchaniya Po Geografii Naseleniya, Vol. 3 (1968), 1-6.

9. Helliwell, D.R. "The Amenity Value of Trees and Woodlands."

Journal of jirboricultural Association, No. 5 (1967), 128-

10. Hellivjell, D.R. "Valuation of laldlife Resources." Regional

Studies, Vol. 3 (1969), Ul-ii7. See also: M.D. Hooper,
"Critique of D.R. Helliwell: Valuation of Wildlife Resour-
ces," Regional Studies, Vol. h, (1970), 127-128j and D.R.
Helliwell, "Valuation of I.ildlife Resources: Rejoinder to
Critique, by M.D. Hooper, Regional Studies, Vol. U (1970),

6. CPL Exchange Bibliographj )»287

11. Jacobs, Pctor and Douglaa V/'ay. "Visual Analysis of Landscape

Development," 2nd Sdition I'tLraeographod (53 PP.)» Depart-
ment of Landscape /jchitecture. Harvard Jni versa ty, 1965.

12. Kates, Robert. "Tho Pursiiit of Beauty in the Snvironnent."

Landscape, Vol. 16, Ho. 2 (Viinter 1966-67), 21-25.

13. Lansing, John B. and R.V^ Marans. "3valuation of Neighbor-

hood Quality." American Institute of Planners Jourr^al,
Vol. 3$ (1965), 195-199.

111. Leopold, Luna B. "Landscape Esthetics." Natural History,
Vol. 78, No. 8 (October 1969), >^-U5.

15. Leopold, Luna B. "Quantitative Corparison of Sone Aesthetic

Factors Among Rivers." Geological Survey Circular 620.

16. Leopold, Luna B., Frank 2. Clarke, Bruce B. Hanshaw and Janes

R. Balsley. "A Procedure for Evaluating Environinental
Impact." Geological Survey Circular 6U5. 1971.

17. Leopold, Luna B. and Maura O'Brien Harchand. "On the Quanti-

tative Inventory of the lUverscape." Water Resources Re-
search, Vol. h (1969), 709-717.

18. Linton, D. "The Assessment of Scenery as a Natural Rescwrce."

Scottish Geographical hagazins. Vol. 8U (1968), 219-238.

19. Little, Charles E. The Challenge of the Land. New York:

Pergamon Press, 1969.

20. Litton, R. Burton, Jr. "Forest Landscape Description and

Inventories- A Basis for Land Planning and Design." USDA
Forest Service ?iesearch Paper PS17-U9 (6U pp.), 1968.

21. Lowenthal, David. "The /jnerlcan Scene." Geographical Review,

Vol. 58 (1966), 61-88.

22. Lowenthal, David and H.C. Prince. "The English Landscjpe."

Geographical Review, Vol. 51i (196U), 3C9-3a6.

23. Lowenthal, David. "Not Every Prospect Pleases: V.Tiat is Our

Criterion for Scenic Beauty?" Landscape, Vol. 1?, No. 2
(V;inter 1962-63), 19-23.

2k. Moles, Abraham. Information Theory and Esthetic Perception.
Trans., Joel Cohen. Urbana: University of Illinois
Press, 1966.

25. Nairn, Ian. The /unerlcan Landscape. New York: Randcc House,

7. CPL Exchange Bibliography #28?

26. Peterson, George L. "A Model of Preference: Quantitative

Analysis of the Perception of the Visual Appearance of
Residential Neighborhoods." Journal of Regional Science,
Vol. 7, Mo. 1 (1S67), 19-31.

27. Pred, Allan. "The Esthetic Slum." Landscape, Vol. Ik, No.

(196U), 16-18.

28. Rapoport, A. and R. Hax^kes. "The Perception of Urban Conplex-

ity." jlmerican Institute of Planners Journal, Vol. 36
(1970), 106-111.

29. Rapoport, A. and R.5. Kantor. "Complexity and Ambiguity in

Environmental Design." American Institute of Planners
Journal, Vol. 33 (1967), 210-221.

30. Research Planning and Design Associates, Inc. (Amherst,

Massachusetts) "Visual and Cviltural Environment."
Appendix N, Horth Atlantic Regional Mater Resources Study
(279 pp.), 1970.

31. Sargent, Frederic 0. "Scenery Classification." Mimeographed

(28 pp.). Vermont Resources Research Center (Vermont
Agricultural Experiment Station) Report 18, 1967.

32. Shafer, Elvjood L. and James i-'jietz. "It Seems Possible to

Quantify Scenic Beauty in Photographs." USDA Forest Ser-
vice Research Paper N£-l62 (12 pp.), 1970.

33. Shafer, Elwood L., John F. Hamilton and Elizabeth A. SchmLdt.

"ilatural Landscape Preferences: A Predictive Model."
Jotirnal of Leisure Research, Vol. 1 (1969), 1-19. See
also: E.G. West, "'Natural Landscape Preferences: A
Predictive Model': Comments," Journal of Leisure Research,
Vol. 1 (1969), 195j andE.L. Shafer, "'Natural Landscape
Preferences: A Predictive Model': A Reply," Journal of
Leisure Research, Vol. 1 (1969), 197-198.

31; . Smith, William H. "Trees in the City." iimerican Institute
of Planners Journal, Vol. 36 (1970), U29-ii36.

35. Sonnenfeld, J. "Variable Values in Space and Landscape: An

Inquiry into the Nature of Environmental Necessity."
Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 22, No. h (1966), 71-82.

36. Stevens, S.S. "A Metric for the Social Consensus." Science,

Vol. 1^1 Ik February 1966), 530-510-.

37. Streeby, L.L. "Scenic Management Inpact on Other Forest Act-

ivities." Journal of Forestry, Vol. 68 (1970), k30-k32.

8. CPL Zxchange Bibliography #287

38. Tuan, Y.F. "Topophilia, or Gudden Zjicounter vith Landscg>e."

Landscape, Vol. 2 (1P61), 25-32.

39. lallerj R.A. "Znvironnental Quality, its I leasuj-erent arxi

Control." Regional Studies, Vol. h (197C), 177-151.

UO. i'enger, liley D. and Richard Videbeck. "Zye Pujri-llary lleas-
urement of Aesthetic Responses to Forest Scenes." Jour-
nal of Leisure Research, Vol. 1 (1965), lU5-l6l.

Ul. Lliittick, Arnold. "Aesthetics of Urban Design.'' Town Plan-
ning Institute Journal, Vol. 56 (1970), 332-337.

[i2. I.Tiyte, I'.H. The Last Landscape. Nevr York: Doubledav, 1568.

U3. 'i/illiams, Howard L. and l.'.D. Davis. "Zffect of Scenic Zase-
ments on the Market Value of Real Property." Appraisal
Journal, Vol. 36 (1568), 15-2U.

UU. Uohli'dll, Joachira F. "The Physical Znvironr^nt: A Problea
for a Psychology of Stimulation," Journal of Social
Issues, Vol. 22, IIo. h (1966), 29-38.

U5. Zube, Ervin H. "Evaluating the Visual and Cultural Environ-
ment." Journal of Soil and V'ater Conservation, Vol. 25,
Ho. h (1970), 137-lUl.

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