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Abstract

This paper presents a methodology for assessing the visual quality of agricultural landscapes through direct and indirect techniques of landscape valuation. The first technique enables us to rank agricultural landscapes on the basis of a survey of public preferences. The latter weighs the contribution of the elements and attributes contained in the picture to its overall scenic beauty via regression analysis. The photos used in the survey included man-made elements, positive and negative, agricultural fields, mainly of cereals and olive trees, and a natural park. The results show that perceived visual quality increases, in decreasing order of importance, with the degree of wilderness of the landscape, the presence of well-preserved man-made elements, the percentage of plant cover, the amount of water, the presence of mountains and the colour contrast.

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