Perceived beauty of the landscape
Landscapes are perceived 70% visually and 30% acoustically, as well as with other senses. We enjoy spending time in a visually beautiful landscape because it helps us relax and can even positively affect our health. Landscapes are attractive when they are varied yet harmonious. A fairly effective layout is important so that people feel comfortable and relax in a landscape. The landscape experience has two components: (1) a landscape structure that is generally perceived by everyone (shaped by evolution) and (2) a culturally shaped perception of landscape structures.
The "Perceived beauty of the landscape" indicator is the product of a perception that is shaped by evolution and strongly marked by culture. Participants generally rated the landscape of their commune of residence as fairly beautiful. The average rating on a scale of 1 to 5 was 4.0. As expected, there were regional differences.
Unsurprisingly, communes with agriculture and tourism were perceived as the most beautiful. Although communes with suburban and rural areas close to cities had the worst ratings, their average rating was still 3.8, which fell into the "fairly beautiful" category. This was due to home ownership. Residential property owners rate the beauty of the landscape where they live more positively than tenants.
There were no discernible differences between men and women in the assessment of landscape beauty. Age was positively connected to the beauty assessment, while education had a negative connection. No connection was discernible with membership in an environmental or nature protection association.
The data come from a representative survey on perceptions of the landscape in Switzerland, in which 2,814 individuals participated. To evaluate the perceived beauty of the landscape, individuals had to rate the following statements on a scale of 1 ("completely false") to 5 ("completely true"):
The landscape in my commune of residence is very beautiful.
The landscape in my commune of residence is very attractive.
I really like the landscape in my commune of residence.
There is a lot about the landscape in my commune of residence that I find very beautiful.
The survey was conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) as part of the “Landscape Monitoring Switzerland” (LABES) project.