The object of this thesis is to provide, through a thorough analysis of human perception and interaction with aesthetics and landscape quality, a comprehensive basis on which to develop a credible methodology for the large scale assessment of perceived landscape quality. The analysis of human perception and interaction with aesthetics and landscape quality is gained by inquiring in depth into a range of theoretical constructs from key disciplines, cultural aspects, and empirical studies covering : 1. the contribution of philosophers to aesthetics 2. the psychology of perception and colour 3. the contribution of Gestalt psychology to aesthetics 4. the psychoanalytical construct of human responses to aesthetics 5. the influence of culture on landscape preferences, tracing the changing perceptions of mountains, the portrayal of landscapes in art, and the design of parks and gardens 6. a review of over 200 surveys of landscape quality in the late 20th century, including typologies and theories of landscape quality Based on the analysis of these and the knowledge gained, an empirical study is formulated and conducted, comprising a study of landscape quality of South Australia, an area of nearly 1 million km - 1. This involves, firstly, the acquisition of data covering the delineation of landscape character regions for the State, photography of these landscapes, derivation of a set of representative slides, and rating of these by groups of participants. Secondly, these preference ratings are comprehensively analysed on the basis of the attributes of the scenes covering land form, land cover, land use, water bodies, naturalism, diversity and colour. Thirdly, the results are applied as follows: 1. a map of landscape quality of South Australia is derived 2. the results are used to predict the effect that changes in land use ( e.g. clearance of trees ) will have on landscape quality 3. the theoretical constructs of landscape quality are evaluated on the basis of the preference ratings 4. a protocol is detailed to guide the undertaking of large - scale landscape quality assessment. The thesis thus fulfils the objective of conducting a thorough analysis of human perception and interaction with, aesthetics and landscape quality, to provide a basis for developing a credible methodology for the large - scale assessment of perceived landscape quality.Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2000
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