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Visual aspects in urban woodland management

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This paper presents a study of woodland management guidelines analysed for their inclusion of visual aspects. The aim of the study was to identify approaches towards the management of visual aspects in urban woodland. For the study, 24 management guidelines from Sweden and the UK were reviewed for scale, degree of operational detail, the visual concepts used, their emphasis and justification. The review revealed that there exists a diversity of approaches towards managing visual aspects regarding the selection and emphasis of visual concepts as well as the scale at which they are applied and degree of operationality. Some general differences between Sweden and the UK where identified. These differences in treatment of visual aspects were mainly related to the use of different scale levels, different levels of abstraction and the basis for justifying the importance of visual qualities in management. These differences are discussed in relation to the wider management context, including landowner structure, landscape history and forestry traditions. We conclude that studying urban woodland management in another context (e.g. geographical and historical) can provide new insights for visual management. We also believe that transferring management strategies across cultures will result in them being altered at the policy and operational levels by the change of context. We further suggest that the use of visual concept could provide one approach for better integration of visual qualities in urban woodland management.

Keywords: aesthetic; landscape preferences; management guideline; urban woodland; visual quality

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Landscape Planning Alnarp, Sweden 2: Norwegian Foundation for Nature and Cultural Heritage Research, Department of Landscape Ecology, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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