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Scenes of South Australian cereal farmlands

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South Australian farming scenes

AUSTRALIAN STUDIES OF LANDSCAPE QUALITY

An overview of 84 Australian studies is presented, the themes of Australian studies are discussed and then described in two streams: physical studies and preference studies.

Click on the following topics:

Overview of Australian landscape studies
Themes of Australian landscape studies
Physical studies
Preference studies

Physical studies are those which involve the description, analysis and sometimes quantification of the physical characteristics of the landscape without reference to human perception. In contrast, preference studies involve the community in assessing scenes and rating their scenic quality

OVERVIEW OF AUSTRALIAN LANDSCAPE STUDIES

The studies of landscape quality undertaken in Australia over the 40 year period from the 1960s into the new century have been identified and summarized. A matrix of the studies is available here. A total of 84 studies have been collated. Although strenuous efforts were made to locate all relevant studies, it is inevitable that some may have been missed. This author would be interested in gaining access to any other studies not identified here.

Table 1 provides an overall summary of the data set by year and State. Most studies were located in NSW and Victoria and, to a lesser extent, Queensland and South Australia. There was a concentration of studies in the late 1970s – early 1980s and again around the turn of the millennium. The sparseness of national studies is striking.

Table 1 Number of Landscape Studies by Year and State, 1968 - 2007

Year National Qld NSW Vic Tas SA WA NT Total
1968 1 1
1969 0
1970 0
1971 0
1972 1 1
1973 1 1
1974 5 5
1975 0
1976 1 1 1 3
1977 1 2 1 4
1978 1 1
1979 1 4 1 6
1980 1 1
1981 2 1 2 5
1982 2 1 1 4
1983 1 1
1984 3 1 4
1985 1 1
1986 1 1
1987 1 1 1 1 4
1988 1 1
1989 1 2 3
1990 1 1
1991 0
1992 1 1
1993 1 1
1994 2 1 1 4
1995 0
1996 1 1
1997 1 1 1 3
1998 1 2 1 1 5
1999 1 1 2
2000 1 2 1 4
2001 1 2 3
2002 1 1 2
2003 1 1
2004 1 1 2
2005 1 1 2 4
2006 2 2
2007 1 1
2008                  
Total 1 11 20 30 4 16 1 1 84

Figure 1 summarises the number of studies per year and shows that the number of studies has increased, albeit varying widely from year to year (y = 0.02x – 38.9, r2 = 0.02).

Study frequency

Table 2 indicates the concentration of studies in certain States. Victoria accounted for 36%, New South Wales 24%, South Australia 19%, and Queensland 13%.

Table 2 Number of landscape studies per State, 1968 – 2007

Location Number %
National 1 1.2
Queensland 11 13.1
New South Wales 20 23.8
Victoria 30 35.7
Tasmania 4 4.8
South Australia 16 19.0
Western Australia 1 1.2
Northern Territory 1 1.2
Total 84 100.0

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Figure 2 indicates the year of the studies in the four main States, Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Queensland. While studies occurred throughout the 40 year period in Victoria and NSW, in contrast, no studies occurred in Queensland before 1992 while in South Australia no studies occurred in the 1990s.

State studies

Figure 2 Studies in Qld, NSW, Vic, and SA by year

The types of studies, physical, by preferences, a combination of both, or experiential are summarized by Table 3 and show that 55% were physical, only 27% were preference based and a further four studies combined physical and preference methods. The 11 studies associated with the Regional Forests Agreement were experiential (13%). Figure 3 shows the type of study by year from 1968 to 2007 and indicates that physical studies dominated in the first half of the period, up to 1990, but since then, preference studies have become more common.

Table 3 Total Number of Studies by Type

  Physical Preferences Physical + preferences Experiential
Total studies
46
23
4
11
Percentage
55%
27%
5%
13%

Study Types
Note: Four physical + preference studies not shown
Figure 3 Type of Studies by Year

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