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Preferences for European agrarian landscapes: A meta-analysis of case studies

Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 132, Pages 89-101,


Stated preference studies are increasingly employed to estimate the value of attributes of European agrarian landscapes and changes therein. Despite the vast amount of case studies, preferences for landscape attributes are context specific, which inhibits cross-case comparison and up-scaling. In this study, we address this problem by applying a meta-analysis of stated preference studies that focus on attributes of European agrarian landscapes (n=345). The main objective of this study is to identify generic preferences for particular types of landscape attributes across case studies. In addition, landscape context variables that explain preference heterogeneity between different cases that address similar landscape attributes are identified. We find that landscape attributes that describe mosaic land cover, historic buildings or the presence of livestock generally receive the highest stated preferences across cases. Furthermore, we find relations between preferences for particular attributes and context variables – such as population density and GDP per capita – using a meta-regression analysis. The results of the present study provide the first cross-disciplinary and cross-case evidence on relations between preferences for landscape attributes and socio-economic and landscape context conditions. The study is a first step toward up-scaling of landscape preferences and the development social landscape indicators that reflect the perceived value of landscapes at regional and pan-regional scales, which is increasingly important as landscape policies are progressively implemented at European level.

Author(s): van Zanten, BT, Verburg, PH, Koetse, MJ, van Beukering, PJH

Journal: Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 132, Pages 89-101,

Year: 2014


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