Exploring Multisensory Landscapes: 2023 Visual Resource Stewardship Conference

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Planning and Landscape Architecture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 6194

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA
Interests: visual resource management; geospatial analytics; environmental psychology; land use planning
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land use change has had a fundamental impact on the livelihoods of people throughout the world. This Special Issue will focus on the research being conducted at the intersection of this land use change and the importance of maintaining landscapes that enrich humanity and our engagement with nature. In this Special Issue, we will explore the value of landscapes that heighten the senses. Visual Resource Stewardship is an area of research that closely aligns with understanding how changes in the environment may be perceived and experienced. Understanding the tools, processes, and theories involved helps us to better understand how land use change impacts humanity, which is a critical endeavor in landscape planning.

The goal of this Special Issue is to catalyze ideas and innovations between academia, practice, NGOs and government agencies working to address the analysis, planning, valuation, design and management of visual resources. We seek papers that investigate, exemplify or theorize on the protection of visual resources in an era of major landscape changes on a regional, national and global scale. This Special Issue also invites submissions that deal with multi-sensory topics at the intersection of people and the environment.

This Special Issue will welcome manuscripts that link the following themes:

  • Multisensory Landscape Assessment;
  • Visual Quality and Context Sensitive Design;
  • Scenic Resource Valuation;
  • Representation Methods and Systems Used in Assessments of Visual Perceptions;
  • The Visual Effects of Climate Change and Renewable Energy.

We look forward to receiving your original research articles and reviews.

Prof. Dr. Richard Smardon
Dr. Brent Chamberlain
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • visual resource management
  • visual impact assessment
  • climate and land use change
  • multisensory landscape assessment
  • scenic quality

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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27 pages, 1429 KiB  
Article
Using a Public Preference Questionnaire and Eye Movement Heat Maps to Identify the Visual Quality of Rural Landscapes in Southwestern Guizhou, China
by Xuhui Yao and Yan Sun
Land 2024, 13(5), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050707 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 174
Abstract
Rural landscapes serve as important platforms to determine the landscape characteristics (LCs) of rural areas, demonstrating the landscape characteristics specific to certain regions to the public. However, the development trend of urban and rural areas is continuous and impacts the characteristics of rural [...] Read more.
Rural landscapes serve as important platforms to determine the landscape characteristics (LCs) of rural areas, demonstrating the landscape characteristics specific to certain regions to the public. However, the development trend of urban and rural areas is continuous and impacts the characteristics of rural landscapes, which directly affects the public’s visual experience and landscape perception. In order to improve the characteristics of rural landscapes, this study evaluates and analyzes their visual quality based on public preferences and eye movement heat maps. The results show that most subjects have a high preference for horizontal, open-view rural landscapes with fields and landform features as the dominant landscape elements. This study also found that the combination of strip-like or planar settlement buildings with regional characteristics and landform features has an active impact on the visual quality of rural landscapes. These results show that rural landscapes characterized by scattered settlement buildings without significant regional characteristics, horizontally curved roads, bridges, and other human-made landscape elements, and mixed and disorderly vegetation have low landscape preference, which degrades their visual quality. These research results provide crucial suggestions for landscape managers to protect and renew rural landscape features. Full article
37 pages, 7966 KiB  
Article
Sensory Responsive Environments: A Qualitative Study on Perceived Relationships between Outdoor Built Environments and Sensory Sensitivities
by Kathryn Angela Finnigan
Land 2024, 13(5), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050636 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 365
Abstract
This qualitative study explored the perceived relationships between outdoor built environments and sensory sensitivities, focusing on autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. Thirty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants who had lived experience with these focal groups. Through thematic analysis of their narratives, the study [...] Read more.
This qualitative study explored the perceived relationships between outdoor built environments and sensory sensitivities, focusing on autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. Thirty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants who had lived experience with these focal groups. Through thematic analysis of their narratives, the study uncovered patterns highlighting the perceived relationships between designed landscapes and sensory sensitivities in neurodivergent individuals, encompassing both heightened sensitivity (hypersensitivity) and reduced sensitivity (hyposensitivity). Emergent themes included individual and personal factors, sensory affordances, the benefits of outdoor environments, ambient environmental factors, materiality, spatial design, navigating environments, pedestrian-centric transportation, sensorimotor movement, safety, refuge, human settlement types, social environments, and accessibility plus inclusion. Subthematic patterns within these larger thematic categories were also identified. Study participants revealed significant sensory barriers and sensorially supportive elements of designed outdoor environments, along with promising design interventions. The findings unveil the advantages of designing multi-sensory landscapes tailored to atypical sensory needs, emphasizing the importance of fostering inclusion by designing landscapes that reflect the communities they serve. This concept is encapsulated in the development of the Sensory Responsive Environments Framework (SREF), the emergent theoretical framework of this study. Full article
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11 pages, 22882 KiB  
Article
Eye-Tracking and Visual Preference: Maybe Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder?
by Patrick A. Miller
Land 2024, 13(5), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050598 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 403
Abstract
The “Content-Identifying Methodology”, or CIM, is an approach developed by environmental psychologists Rachel and Stephen Kaplan to understand the landscape characteristics that people find visually attractive. The Kaplans did this by surveying people’s landscape preferences and then analyzing the preferences to develop sets [...] Read more.
The “Content-Identifying Methodology”, or CIM, is an approach developed by environmental psychologists Rachel and Stephen Kaplan to understand the landscape characteristics that people find visually attractive. The Kaplans did this by surveying people’s landscape preferences and then analyzing the preferences to develop sets of landscape scenes to which people reacted in a similar pattern. The underlying assumption is that a common stimulus or content exists in the photographs of a set responsible for the preference. However, identifying the common stimulus or content in each set or grouping of scenes and how it affects preference can still be challenging. Eye-tracking is a tool that can identify what the survey participants were looking at when indicating their preference for a landscape. This paper demonstrates how eye-tracking was used in two different landscape preference studies to identify the content important to people’s preferences and provide insights into how the content affected preference. Eye-tracking can help identify a common stimulus, help determine if the stimulus is a physical or spatial characteristic of the landscape, and show how the stimulus varies in different landscape contexts. Full article
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33 pages, 25536 KiB  
Article
Visual Perception Optimization of Residential Landscape Spaces in Cold Regions Using Virtual Reality and Machine Learning
by Xueshun Li, Kuntong Huang, Ruinan Zhang, Yang Chen and Yu Dong
Land 2024, 13(3), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13030367 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 812
Abstract
The visual perception of landscape spaces between residences in cold regions is important for public health. To compensate for the existing research ignoring the cold snow season’s influence, this study selected two types of outdoor landscape space environments in non-snow and snow seasons [...] Read more.
The visual perception of landscape spaces between residences in cold regions is important for public health. To compensate for the existing research ignoring the cold snow season’s influence, this study selected two types of outdoor landscape space environments in non-snow and snow seasons as research objects. An eye tracker combined with a semantic differential (SD) questionnaire was used to verify the feasibility of the application of virtual reality technology, screen out the gaze characteristics in the landscape space, and reveal the design factors related to landscape visual perception. In the snow season, the spatial aspect ratio (SAR), building elevation saturation (BS), and grass proportion in the field of view (GP) showed strong correlations with the landscape visual perception scores (W). In the non-snow season, in addition to the above three factors, the roof height difference (RHD), tall-tree height (TTH), and hue contrast (HC) also markedly influenced W. The effects of factors on W were revealed in immersive virtual environment (IVE) orthogonal experiments, and the genetic algorithm (GA) and k-nearest neighbor algorithm (KNN) were combined to optimize the environmental factors. The optimized threshold ranges in the non-snow season environment were SAR: 1.82–2.15, RHD: 10.81–20.09 m, BS: 48.53–61.01, TTH: 14.18–18.29 m, GP: 0.12–0.15, and HC: 18.64–26.83. In the snow season environment, the optimized threshold ranges were SAR: 2.22–2.54, BS: 68.47–82.34, and GP: 0.1–0.14. Full article
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17 pages, 15976 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Perceived Real-Scene Environment of a River in a High-Density Urban Area on Emotions
by Mengyixin Li, Rui Liu, Xin Li, Shiyang Zhang and Danzi Wu
Land 2024, 13(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13010035 - 27 Dec 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 982
Abstract
Public sub-health has emerged as a pressing concern in densely populated urban areas. The urban environment, with its innate ability to modulate public emotions, harbors a precious resource in the form of urban rivers, which provide a serene and verdant space. This study [...] Read more.
Public sub-health has emerged as a pressing concern in densely populated urban areas. The urban environment, with its innate ability to modulate public emotions, harbors a precious resource in the form of urban rivers, which provide a serene and verdant space. This study focuses on the Liangma River in Chaoyang District, Beijing, selecting two rivers with diverse landscape features as the subjects of research. By employing physiological feedback data in conjunction with a subjective questionnaire, the emotional impact of high-density urban riverside spaces on individuals is quantitatively analyzed. Electrocardiogram (ECG) data, eye movement data, and the positive–negative emotion scale (PANAS) are subjected to data analysis. The study reveals the following key findings: (1) The riverside landscape in high-density urban areas exerts a positive influence on emotional well-being. Individuals in more natural river settings experience greater levels of contentment and relaxation, while those in areas with a higher proportion of artificial elements exhibit increased excitement and happiness. Moreover, scenes characterized by a greater degree of greening have a more pronounced soothing effect on mood. (2) A specific correlation between visual characteristics and emotional fluctuations is observed. The waterfront side of the trail exerts a stronger spatial attraction, and a higher proportion of blue and green spaces significantly contributes to stress relief. (3) The utilization of human-induced engineering technology, which captures emotional changes through physiological feedback, demonstrates a higher level of accuracy and is well-suited for small-scale studies. These findings highlight the potential of arranging diverse types of waterfront footpath landscapes in high-density urban areas and approaching waterfront landscape design and transformation from a novel perspective centered on health intervention. Such efforts hold promise for alleviating the daily pressures faced by the general public and fostering the development of a “healthy city”. Full article
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18 pages, 1541 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Perceived Physical and Aesthetic Quality of Rural Settlements on Tourists’ Preferences—A Case Study of Zhaoxing Dong Village
by Shuai Jiang, Haoran Ma, Ling Yang and Shixian Luo
Land 2023, 12(8), 1542; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12081542 - 3 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1386
Abstract
Rural settlements, as crucial human habitats, encompass various values such as residential living, cultural tourism, and industrial development. This paper investigates the environmental physical and aesthetic factors perceived by tourists, which influence their preferences for rural settlement environments. Previous studies have predominantly focused [...] Read more.
Rural settlements, as crucial human habitats, encompass various values such as residential living, cultural tourism, and industrial development. This paper investigates the environmental physical and aesthetic factors perceived by tourists, which influence their preferences for rural settlement environments. Previous studies have predominantly focused on evaluating the impacts of physical or aesthetic factors on tourists’ environmental preferences, with limited research simultaneously examining their combined effects. To reduce this research gap, we selected Zhaoxing Dong Village in China, characterized by typical rural environmental traits, and collected 450 valid questionnaires. The questionnaire data underwent correlation analysis and multiple linear regression analysis. The results indicate that when considering only environmental physical quality factors, most of the physical quality factors are significantly correlated with tourists’ preferences. Among them, “visual quality” shows the highest correlation, followed by “facility” and “maintenance”, while “security” shows the lowest correlation. When aesthetic quality factors are added to the model as independent variables, they enhance the explanatory power of the model and exhibit more significant associations compared to the relationship between physical quality factors and preferences. Among the aesthetic quality factors, “multisensory” and “sublime” demonstrate the highest correlation, whereas “diversity” shows the lowest correlation. The current study demonstrates the validity of the two scales for measuring tourists’ perceived levels of physical and aesthetic quality in rural settlement environments. These findings contribute to the effective utilization of environmental capital within rural settlements and provide guidance for rural settlement planning and design. Full article
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19 pages, 1016 KiB  
Systematic Review
How Highway Landscape Visual Qualities Are Being Studied: A Systematic Literature Review
by Hangyu Gao, Shamsul Abu Bakar, Suhardi Maulan, Mohd Johari Mohd Yusof, Riyadh Mundher and Benxue Chen
Land 2024, 13(4), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13040431 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Highways play a vital role in the road transport system, connecting regions and cities in many parts of the world. It may sometimes offer scenic views or a visually appealing environment based on the availability of unique compositions of natural and man-made elements [...] Read more.
Highways play a vital role in the road transport system, connecting regions and cities in many parts of the world. It may sometimes offer scenic views or a visually appealing environment based on the availability of unique compositions of natural and man-made elements within the highway vicinity. The highway’s landscapes could significantly impact the journey experience; thus, it is essential to emphasize the need to preserve a visually appealing, safe, and enjoyable highway environment. Although many studies have been conducted regarding the highway visual environment, currently, there is a lack of comprehensive understanding of perception variables that could affect viewers’ preference for highway landscapes. Therefore, this study aims to understand the background of the highway landscape and identify the perception variables and their effect on the preference for highway landscapes. This study conducted a systematic review by searching for keywords in three databases: Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar. The review included 37 research articles published between 1993 and 2023 that met the criteria. An additional nine relevant papers were included through a ‘snowballing’ approach to supplement the research and results. The results of the study focused on multiple perspectives of highway landscape views, viewers’ perspectives and the diversity of highway landscape purposes, viewers’ preferences for highway landscapes, the approach to preferences, and related key variables. This background knowledge deepens the understanding of visual preferences for highway landscapes and helps refine the selection of perceptual variables, establishing an essential reference criterion for professionals. Full article
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