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Gianluca Dell’Acqua - University of Napoli Federico II, Department of Transportation Engineering, Via Claudio 21, Napoli, Italy -

Raffaele Mauro - University of Trento, Department of Mechanical and Structural Engineering, Via Mesiano 77, I-38123, Trento, Italy -

Francesca Russo - University of Napoli Federico II, Department of Transportation Engineering, Via Claudio 21, Napoli, Italy -


The following paper illustrates the application and the verification of detailed methodologies employed by international agencies to assess the Scenic Quality of a landscape. Several States determine a landscape’s visual quality using predictor variables. This research aims to validate the recognized ability of these predictor variables to reproduce untrained observers’ preferences. The definition of the Scenic Quality of a landscape is often affected by subjective opinions but sometimes exceptions exist. Public judgment recognizes a high Visual Quality to landscape when natural reserves, national parks, and archaeological interest exist. Various procedures collected in international literature suggest the use of predictor indicators to evaluate public preferences. Three variables have been chosen to analyze a series of selected Italian landscapes: Vividness, Intactness and Unity. Photographic inventories were created for different landscapes. Pools of landscape architects judged the slides associated to each landscape using a 7-point scale for the three indicators. Identical slides were then shown to untrained observers composed of 201 students that used a 10-point scale to evaluate Scenic Beauty for each picture. Students’ judgments were then related to the expert judgments. The results indicate that vividness is most correlated with Scenic Beauty that presents a much weaker correlation with intactness.

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The authors would like to thank: Scott D. Bradley (Chief Landscape Architect, Minnesota DOT), Barbara A. Petrarca (Landscape Architect), Giorgio Chiarello (Senior Architect, One Works SpA), Karen Van Citters (Principal, Van Citters Historic Preservation LLC), Keith Robinson (Principal Landscape Architect, CALTRANS), Nikiforos Stamatiadis (Professor, University of Kentucky) and Alessandro Dal Piaz (Professor, University of Naples Federico II).


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